Santa Ana's city attorney has apparently sent warning letters to all medical marijuana collectives currently operating in the city. The letters reportedly state that any storefront dispensary must close its doors within 15 days of Nov. 15--basically the end of the month--or else face misdemeanor charges and fines of $1000 per day.
It's unclear how many clubs received the letter, but Santa Ana would seem to be enforcing its ongoing ban on medical marijuana dispensaries. That ban was reinforced by the California Supreme Court decision earlier this year which upheld the right of cities to prohibit storefronts. According to a source at one collective that received the letter, the city referenced that court ruling to justify its actions.
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Despite the city's ban, residents in January 2013 gathered enough signatures in support of a referendum that would allow cannabis clubs to operate to go before voters in November
As the Weekly has previously reported, federal prosecutors who were cooperating with city officials in Orange County had initiated asset forfeiture lawsuits against landlords who were renting to cannabis clubs. But after the Weekly reported that, contrary to the Obama administration's public statements, internal emails showed the feds were going after dispensaries that were obeying state law, the feds dropped those cases. Two of the buildings the feds had targeted were in Santa Ana, one on 17th Street and one on Edinger.
Send your story tips to the author, Nick Schou.