LA City Attorneys Seek To Halt Cannabis Farmers Market - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

LA City Attorneys Seek To Halt Cannabis Farmers Market

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Boyle Heights, CA -

(FOX 11 / AP) A judge granted a temporary restraining order today blocking the operation of a medical marijuana "farmers market" in Boyle Heights, agreeing with city attorneys that it falls outside the parameters of a voter-approved measure limiting dispensaries in the city and is an unauthorized use of the property.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joanne O'Donnell found that the patients of the dispensary would not suffer "irreparable harm" by her ruling.

The California Heritage Market, operated by the West Coast Collective, opened for business over the Fourth of July weekend, attracting hoards of customers who waited in long lines for a chance to browse the market's wares.

O'Donnell said the scope of the order sought by the city was too broad and is only shutting down -- for now -- the West Coast Collective's "farmers market," which takes place on weekends. She also scheduled a hearing for Aug.6 on whether a preliminary injunction should be issued against the dispensary.

City Attorney Mike Feuer said the entire operation violates Proposition D, which limits the number of legal dispensaries allowed in the city, and is an unauthorized and unpermitted use of the property on Esperanza Street. He also claims the operation creates a public nuisance due to traffic and large crowds, creating safety hazards and blocking access to nearby properties.

David Welch, attorney for West Coast Collective, said the farmers market allows patients to meet the cultivators directly and avoid middlemen.

"That is the essence of the law about how a collective is supposed to work," he said.

Welch said the city is wrongly interfering with how his clients can operate their business. He said that if the judge rules against his clients on Aug. 6, he will speak with them about a future course of action.

Welch said that although next month's ruling sets up a trial of all the issues, a ruling on a preliminary injunction can be appealed.


From Bob DeCastro:

It has been a booming business in Boyle heights since it opened July 4 weekend- the "California Heritage Market", a medical marijuana farmers market has been drawing huge crowds. Thousands of card-carrying medical marijuana patients in search of flowers, edibles and lotions.

The market is popular to many, because the pot is often discounted and comes directly from the grower.

But Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer says the market violates Prop D, which voters approved last year. It limits the number of cannabis dispensaries operating in the city. Feuer also says the market unfairly competes against established pot shops, and is a public nuisance because of traffic and crowds.

Lawyers for the Farmers Market say the city attorney is "simply making wild allegations."

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer is seeking an injunction to shut down the California Heritage Market. Both sides appear in court Tuesday morning.

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