A court ruling in Orange County, California on Friday decided that medical marijuana used by dispensaries throughout the state must be grown on site.
The decision was unanimously reached by a three-judge Court of Appeal panel in Santa Nana. The courts decision is the first in California to prohibit cities from enacting zoning restrictions that ban all marijuana dispensaries.
The move is likely to force most dispensaries out of business while others could potentially be forced to shut down until they’ve begun to grow their own medical marijuana.
In writing for the court Justice Richard M. Aronson noted:
“A local government cannot ban as a nuisance exactly what the Legislature contemplated would occur at cooperative and collective medical marijuana cultivation sites.” The decision was joined by a Republican appointee and a Democratic appointee.
After conflicting with the decisions of other appellate court rulings regarding medical marijuana it’s likely that the California Supreme Court will hear an appeal regarding the case. The state high court has already agreed to hear several medical marijuana cases but those hearings and decisions are not expected until 2013.
In the meantime the courts decision offers some interesting restrictions that logistically don’t make sense, for example most small dispensaries don’t have the space to grow enough marijuana to support upwards of 1,000 or more customers at any given time.
Do you think the states court decision was handed down with pressure from the federal court system which has went on the offensive against California Marijuana dispensaries in the last year?