County Supervisors Authorize Lawsuits Against Marijuana Dispensaries

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors wants to crack down on marijuana dispensaries operating in unicorporated county areas, and by a unanimous vote on Tuesday, the Board authorized legal action against more than a dozen clinics. The county will follow through with lawsuits unless the property owners and managers voluntarily and immediately stop their operation, officials said. The manager of Desert Care Solutions in Thousand Palms would not gave only his first name, John, and wouldn’t comment any further, except to say that his dispensary has been served papers by the county and has been told to either shut down voluntarily or be forced to do so.

Daniel Cantu, a Coachella resident and medicinal marijuana patient, said it would be a shame if the dispensaries are forced to close up. “I think it’s a good thing that they have them legitimately, instead of you running out there in the streets, trying to find somebody on the corner and something might happen to you,” said Cantu. Riverside County ammended its zoning ordinance in 2006 and adopted a ban on marijuana dispensaries in unicorporated areas.

Since then, violation notices have been issued and lawsuits have been defended in court. County officials know of at least 36 dispensaries operating illegally, and more than a dozen have closed down in the past year. Sublime Remedies was also served, and its co-owner, Jake Wwright, said he’s spoken to people associated with other dispensaries in the area and that everyone is upset about the situation.

More than 1,500 patients use his location, said Wright. “We’re just going to have to wait and see what happens,” said Wright. “We’re not going to shutdown — I’ll tell you that right now.” News Channel 3 stopped by Relevance Alternative Health Care as well, but the receptionist said the manager was not there. Down the street, on Ramon Road, News Channel 3 was thrown out of Inland Valley Therapeutic Healing Center. The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday to move forward with the ban.

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