Rancho Santiago Extends Ban On Marijuana Dispensaries

Cities throughout California–and by “cities” we actually mean “city attorneys, council members and other local officials”–are struggling to figure out how exactly marijuana will figure in the lives of their constituents. Two major factors are spurring this ongoing pot-related brainstorm: the federal government’s recently-announced crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries and a state court decision from Long Beach that appears to render any city’s pro-cannabis stance illegal.   Long Beach, which had enacted an ordinance allowing clubs to operate after paying a $15,000 fee and surviving a convoluted series of bingo-style lotteries and increasingly restrictive ordinances, is reportedly about to ban cannabis clubs.


Now comes news that another Southern California city, Rancho Santa Margarita, is extending its 45-day pot ban passed last month, thereby prohibiting marijuana dispensaries from operating until Sept. 27, 2012. This news comes courtesy of our ever-vigilant colleagues at the Orange County Register, specifically Erika Ritchie, who’s been closely following the south county drama—and by “drama” we mean a flurry of back-and-forth lawsuits and more recently, the federal seizure of a Lake Forest strip mall that had been renting space to eight clubs located next door to a day-care center.  According to Ritchie’s article today, there are two cannabis clubs had been operating in Rancho Santa Margarita “without permits in a local business park” and that–snitch alert!–a telephone call “to one of the shops known as California Alternative Remedies located at 29839 Santa Margarita Parkway seems to indicate the shop may still be in business.”  Assuming you’re a resident of Rancho Santa Margarita and a member of said collective, you might want to stock up on your medicine ten minutes ago.

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