Confusion Over Rancho Mirage Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ruling
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
RANCHO MIRAGE - A legal cliffhanger leaves the future of a medical marijuana dispensary in Rancho Mirage hanging in the balance.
The question remains until Thursday morning whether or not employees can return to work at Rancho Mirage Safe Access.
The doors can not reopen - then they can - now that question remains up in the air.
Early court documents said an injunction was granted, but a few hours later the court minutes said the injunction was denied.
Rancho Mirage Safe Access, part of the all Valley Desert Cooperative Group, had to close their doors after the city sued them in July for operating without the proper permits.
"A lot of these medical marijuana dispensaries have just been popping up and not applying for the proper permits, it's my understanding that every city in the valley, with the exception of Palm Springs, has ordinances in effect that ban dispensaries," said Rancho Mirage City Attorney, Steven Quintanilla.
Rancho Mirage's attorney says either way, the judge is requiring the collective to address safety deficiencies.
The collective's attorney says the court is not holding them to Rancho Mirage's dispensary ban.
"The court is requiring the collective to comply with general zoning laws, but not Rancho Mirage's certificate of occupancy and business permit requirements," said attorney Joseph Rhea.
In the meantime, the city is taking applications from dispensaries.
"Depending on how future court cases go will depend on the viability of this business license applications," said Rancho Mirage building official, Steven Buchanan.
In a different case, another judge ruled Rancho Mirage's dispensary ban invalid. The city is appealing that decision.
"Everybody understands that total bans are illegal, and really what the city's need to do is just come back and sensibly zone these things," said Rhea.
Now it is wait and see if the doors to the cannabis collective can, or can not, open again.
Once again, the judge did make his ruling Wednesday, but because of conflicting court records neither side will know the true outcome until court opens Thursday morning.