Judge orders closure of Del Mar Medical Marijuana Dispensary

By Joe Tash

A San Diego Superior Court judge Tuesday ordered the closure of Del Mar’s first and only medical marijuana dispensary, just over three months after it opened for business.

Last month the city sued Patrick Kennedy, the owner of the 1105 Cooperative, as the dispensary is called, and the owners of the building on Camino Del Mar where the cooperative is located, seeking to shut the operation down.

At a hearing Tuesday, Judge Judith Hayes issued a temporary restraining order directing that the cooperative be closed immediately. She also set a hearing for Aug. 4, when the city will argue its case for a permanent injunction to put the cooperative out of business, while Kennedy and his attorney seek to have the ruling overturned, which would allow the cooperative to reopen.

“We have to do what a judge told us to do. We respect that. We don’t like it, but we respect it and we’ll have our day in court in two or three weeks,” Kennedy said.
“I’m very sad for all of our patients that depended on us to provide their medication,” said Kennedy, 55, a father of three who also runs a construction and solar energy contracting business. “It’s a huge setback for safe access for medical marijuana patients.”

Since the cooperative opened its doors on April 1, it has signed up 800 members who have recommendations from their doctors to use medical marijuana for a variety of conditions, Kennedy said.

The city has been seeking the closure of the cooperative since the day it opened, when a city planning official hand-delivered a letter to Kennedy, notifying him that his business license was revoked and that the cooperative violated city zoning rules.

Kennedy remained open in defiance of the city’s edict, amassing fines of more than $25,000, according to deputy city attorney Robert Mahlowitz.

The lawsuit filed by the city alleged that Kennedy was operating without a business license, and that he violated city zoning laws. Del Mar’s current zoning laws do not allow medical marijuana dispensaries anywhere in the city.

“He’s just chosen to ignore the city’s laws,” said Mahlowitz.

The city’s lawsuit also named the building’s owners, Junie and Wayne C. Young.
In order to legally operate such a business in Del Mar, Mahlowitz said, Kennedy would have had to go before the city Planning Commission to request a “determination of allowable use.”

But Kennedy said no one at the city asked him to submit such a request; instead, he said, he filled out two different applications for a business license, paid his fees and was told the receipt served as his temporary license. The first business license was subsequently revoked, while the second application is pending.

“I always told them I’d do anything they wanted me to do. The problem was they wanted me to leave town,” Kennedy said.

Because no current zoning category exists for a medical marijuana dispensary in Del Mar, he said, “it’s a ban on medical marijuana.”

The importance of the issue was driven home, he said, the day the city attorney came to the cooperative to deliver the lawsuit papers. Just as the attorney was leaving, Kennedy said, a caregiver wheeled in a patient suffering from prostate cancer. “The irony was unbelievable, the timing, like a sign from God that you should stay the course,” he said.

While he believes he would ultimately win the legal battle, he said the cost of an appeal would be prohibitive, and he may not be able to take the case further than the Aug. 4 hearing before Judge Hayes.
California voters approved Prop. 215 in 1997, allowing patients with conditions ranging from glaucoma to cancer to possess and use marijuana for medicinal purposes. Marijuana’s benefits, according to some patients and caregivers, include relief of nausea and appetite stimulation for cancer patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

Mayor Don Mosier said the city will wait until the current litigation over the 1105 Cooperative is settled before considering an ordinance that allows and regulates medical marijuana dispensaries.
“I think it’s an open issue,” as to whether dispensaries are allowed in the future, he said. Mosier said he has heard both support and opposition on the topic, and that the council would seek the opinions of Del Mar residents before moving forward with such an ordinance.

Related posts:

  1. Council committee on medical marijuana OKs dispensary guidelines
  2. First medical marijuana cooperative opens in Del Mar
  3. City takes step toward increased regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries
  4. Poll: Majority support regulating medical marijuana dispensaries
  5. County to consider limits on medical marijuana collectives

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=25329

Posted by Lorine Wright on Jul 12, 2011. Filed under Del Mar, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

9 Comments for “Judge orders closure of Del Mar Medical Marijuana Dispensary”

  1. A hearing on making the closure permanent is scheduled for Aug. 4. Patrick Kennedy, who owns the cooperative, said he will comply with the judge’s order and cease operation today.

    This is smart play. To stay open would only "prove" to law enforcement that dispensary owners immoral lawless people. When handed a lemon make lemonade.

  2. RedRooster

    “He’s just chosen to ignore the city’s laws,” said Mahlowitz.,, Really ?
    How about state law? Del Mar Is Violating the law by banning Medical Mj. Even Obama told the feds to leave the medical patients alone…Who are they hurting?
    Del Mar is so concerned with what's right..how about the dozens of horses that get put down every year at the track?..that's ok right? No outrage to shut that down but some aids patient suffering and seeking relief..that's what has you up in arms? MJ has killed noone.. maybe Del mar should focus on closing fast food and liquor stores.

  3. Baffled

    Once again, it all starts with someone who thinks they're too high (no pun) and mighty to have a dispensary in their back yard. I just don't understand why dispensaries bother certain people. They would rather patients find illicit ways to find their medicine? I'm a 52 year old mother of three. I would never want my adult children in a situation where they needed this type of medicine and had to go the shady route to help with their ailment. Just baffles me.

    • ane marie walsh

      I live close to a dispensary. And I can tell you they bother. You do not see sick people in need of help. you see dodgy people that leave trash all over the place. literally. I did not mind dispensary until they moved here.

  4. PotCausesCancer

    Don't understand why dispensaries bother people? Really? Go sit outside one and see the types of people going inside. As recently reported in the Daily Bulletin, an undercover Upland police officer walks into a pot shop, gets information of doctors willing to write a recommendation, visits doctor who doesn’t check blood pressure, temperature, or anything and walks out with a recommendation to return and buy pot at the shop.

    Unfortunately, it’s that easily abused by young people and contributing to the message that pot is harmless.

    Go sit outside of a pot shop and see the types of people who go, please do it, very healthy looking people are the majority. For $30 they get their doctor's recommendation online and can then buy as much pot as they want whenever they want.

    • Reason

      What does anxiety look like from the outside? Glaucoma? Migraine headches? Mighty preachy, aren't you?

      And lets just suppose that this is a foot-in-the-door for decriminalized recreational use. How is this different from a doughnut store? From a liquor store? Hookah bar? I'm perpetually amazed by people like you that would go to such lengths to legislate their inflated sense of morality. Pot isn't harmless. Neither is tobacco, caffeine, nitrous oxide, car exhaust, microwaved food, MSG, salt, alcohol, running, open-water swimming.

      I would advise you to allow people to be as free as they'd like. You're contributing to the nanny-state mentality, instead of relying on Americans being responsible and forward-thinking innovators.

  5. Bob Loblaw

    I took care of my father until he died of pancreatic cancer. The pain and nausea he suffered were indescribable. The best known emetic is cannabis, yet I was unable to get it for him, because I did not live in his town and it was illegal. That is cruel and unconscionable.

    If you parents are worried that your kids will have access, you are fooling yourselves. They have access now. It is not the government's job to be the parents of your kid.

    If you are worried about crime, what do you think prohibition does? Remember Al Capone? See what is happening in Mexico? What do you think will happen when there is no more profit in illegal drugs because they are legalized? No more crime!

    I don't even smoke pot, but I think it should be legalized. Billions are being wasted on a failed drug "war". Legalize, tax and regulate. Or have the criminals in charge. You decide.

  6. svtyone

    heres the thing. evryone says that voters didnt want this. thats funny cause im sure that they didnt want the black market to be providing medication. its simple. mmj works and needs to accepted by every city and made avail otherwise everyone opposed is funding the black market

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