While new fronts have opened in the legal war to keep the doors open at local medical marijuana dispensaries (more on that after the jump), there is one casualty to report.
Yet to be determined is whether it is a fatal blow or merely a flesh wound.
Earth Cann Wellness Center in Lake Forest voluntarily closed its doors last Wednesday.
The 3,000-member nonprofit was among 11 medical marijuana collectives that the city of Lake Forest sought to shut down, claiming they were in violation of city zoning laws.
An Orange County Superior Court judge agreed on Wednesday, issuing a preliminary injunction to close open dispensaries in Lake Forest.
“Just to be safe, we wanted to shut down early to show good faith to the city,” Shannon Saccullo, Earth Cann's owner, reportedly told the Orange County Register. “We want to do everything the right way.”
She vowed to appeal the injunction in hopes a judge will grant a stay during the process, which would present a legal means to keep the collective open.
Speaking of appeals, the four medical marijuana patients who recently sued in federal court under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) to keep their pot providers' doors open in Lake Forest and Costa Mesa have appealed a judge's ruling against them.
Judge Andrew Guilford at the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana ruled May 3 that disabled OC residents Marla James, Wayne Washington, James Armantrout and Charles Daniel DeJong do not have the right under the ADA to smoke marijuana.
Guilford found that under federal law, marijuana remains a Schedule 1 controlled substance with “no medical purpose” and, as such, local cities have the right to restrict pot shops, even in a state where they are legal.
The plaintiffs argue in their appeal filed Friday that patients with disabilities have a federal right to access their medicine. Congressional support for the legalization of medical marijuana in Washington, D.C. could also play a factor in the appeal, according to their lawyer, Matthew S. Pappas of Mission Viejo.
Meanwhile, two dispensaries filed suit in Orange County Superior Court last month alleging Costa Mesa's ordinance prohibiting cannabis clubs violates California law.