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For the past six months, Brea city officials have been seeking to shut down a trio of medical marijuana clubs operating there in violation, the city argues, of a 2009 city law banning cannabis dispensaries. The clubs have appealed the law, claiming that it's in conflict with the 1996 Compassionate Use Act, better known as Proposition 215, which allows California residents to smoke and grow marijuana for medical purposes. But in March, Orange County Superior Judge David Chaffee ordered the clubs to shut down.
On Wednesday, Chaffee made the highly unusual step of appointing a receiver to seize and shutter one of those shops, according to an article in yesterday's Orange County Register. And just hours later, the receiver had "changed the locks and taken inventory" out of the dispensary, the Brea Medical Referral Network.
Charles Ferano, the club's attorney, told the Register his clients plan to appeal Chaffee's ruling. You can expect that if Ferano's appeal succeeds, though, the city will appeal that ruling. Meanwhile, one of the three clubs has successfully challenged Chaffee's injunction, and remains open today. And, of course, you can expect that to change at least one or two more times, depending on how far the lawyers want to push this whole thing.
Not surprisingly, there wasn't any marijuana lying around on the floor when the receiver took over the closed shop, just "miscellaneous" growing equipment, including "lighting fixtures." Despite that, city officials crowed to the Register that all their dreams have now come true. "This is what we have wanted since the beginning," Eric Nicoll, Brea's director of community development, told the Reg. "We are happy the [dispensary's] doors are finally closed."