Small victory for medical marijuana collective

Two dozen medical marijuana collective supporters dressed in green shirts were in the courtroom as Judge Earl Maas of Vista Superior Court OK’d North County Collective to reopen on July 27. The medical marijuana collective temporarily shut down after it received notice from the city of Oceanside on July 15 to cease and desist operations until the Aug. 12 hearing that will determine if the collective can continue to operate. Maas said a business needs to be given due notice before it is asked to close. He added that he is impressed the collective shut down immediately.

In attendance were attorney Katherine Clifton and her client Ken Halbert, director of CKS Organics, which was also ordered by the city of Oceanside to shut down until its court date. Papers were filed against CKS Organics on June 30, but notice was not served until July 22. “The city failed to give a 30-day notice,” Clifton said. A court date is set for Aug. 5 to determine if CKS Organics can reopen and do business until the court definitively decides if it can operate. The OK for North County Collective to reopen was considered a small victory for the collective and the medical marijuana industry. The next step is to get a court OK to run the business.

“Our goal is to work with the city and enact some regulations that allows medical marijuana dispensaries,” attorney Lance Rogers said. “Medical marijuana dispensaries do exist. Being run out of town is not an option.” North County Collective has had two business locations since it opened in Oceanside in February. The business moved to its present location at 913 S. Coast Highway 101 in May after its previous landlord had a change of heart about renting space to a medical marijuana dispensary. “I am operating a business against a stacked deck,” said John Scandalios, director of North County Collective. “Tax me, regulate me, let me operate.”

Scandalios opened North County Collective after he saw a need for safe, knowledgeable patient access to medical marijuana. Scandalios has used medical marijuana for 15 years due to severe arthritis in his shoulders, back and knees. The collective is reportedly run like a tight ship. To assure patient safety and prevent theft, North County Collective upholds tight security. Two uniformed security guards monitor the outside, multiple security camera record what happens inside and outside, and locked alarmed doors stand between the waiting room and dispensary room.

Product quality is monitored and patient consulting is provided. Marijuana is purchased from reputable growers and prepackaged by dispensary volunteers to minimize handling and assure freshness. Bud masters consult patients on the benefits of different strands of marijuana and the choices of herb or edible forms of cannabis. Scandalios sees the issue of the city shutting down businesses as bigger than his collective or medical marijuana dispensaries. “The city did this to me they can do it to any business,” Scandalios said. Read more: Coast News Group – Small victory for medical marijuana collective.

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