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Judge Issues Restraining Order Against Area's First Pot Farmer's Market

City Attorney Mike Feuer said the operation violates Proposition D, which limits the number of legal dispensaries allowed in Los Angeles.

A marijuana farmer's market opened earlier this month in Boyle Heights. The city is now trying to shut it down. Patch file photo.
A marijuana farmer's market opened earlier this month in Boyle Heights. The city is now trying to shut it down. Patch file photo.

Originally posted at 9:58 a.m. July 15, 2014. Edited with new details.

A judge granted a temporary restraining order today blocking the operation of a medical marijuana "farmers market" in Boyle Heights, agreeing with city attorneys that it falls outside the parameters of a voter-approved measure limiting dispensaries in the city and is an unauthorized use of the property.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joanne O'Donnell found that the patients of the dispensary would not suffer "irreparable harm" by her ruling.

The California Heritage Market, operated by the West Coast Collective, opened for business over the Fourth of July weekend, attracting hoards of customers who waited in long lines for a chance to browse the market's wares.

O'Donnell said the scope of the order sought by the city was too broad, so she only ordered the shutdown of the West Coast Collective's "farmers market," which takes place on weekends. She also scheduled a hearing for Aug. 6 on whether a preliminary injunction should be issued against the dispensary.

City Attorney Mike Feuer said the entire operation violates Proposition D, which limits the number of legal dispensaries allowed in the city, and is an unauthorized and un-permitted use of the property on Esperanza Street. He also claims the operation creates a public nuisance due to traffic and large crowds, creating safety hazards and blocking access to nearby properties.

After the ruling, Feuer called it a "great victory for the people of the city of Los Angeles who voted overwhelmingly to support Proposition D."

Feuer said other businesses that want to mimic the farmers market approach to be on guard.

"You can be sure that if any other business seeks to employ a similar approach, that we're going to be pursuing a similar approach ourselves," Feuer said.

David Welch, attorney for West Coast Collective, said the farmers market allows patients to meet the cultivators directly and avoid middlemen.

"That is the essence of the law about how a collective is supposed to work," he said.

Welch said the city is wrongly interfering with how his clients can operate their business. He said if the judge rules against his clients on Aug. 6, he will speak with them about a future course of action.

Welch said that although next month's ruling will set up a trial of all the issues, a ruling on a preliminary injunction can be appealed.

--City News Service


Lightnapper July 15, 2014 at 04:59 PM
"City Attorney Mike Feuer said the entire operation violates Proposition D, which limits the number of legal dispensaries allowed in the city, and is an unauthorized and unpermitted use of the property on Esperanza Street. He also claims the operation creates a public nuisance due to traffic and large crowds, creating safety hazards and blocking access to nearby properties." Not that I would ever attend, and the anti-Prop D argument will probably be found valid, but I just hate LA's continued embrace of double-standards by our paid employees; so, a small soliloquy is in order-- "Weekly yard & sidewalk & easement & vacant lot Used Crap Sales, and industrious Shade Tree mechanics cluttering up the front yards & working past midnight, crowing roosters at 3 AM, and illegal garage & storage shed conversions aside, let me address this one glaring oversight I noticed in zoning laws. All those ubiquitous Taco Trucks parked on the side of the road every 1/4 mile with their tables and chairs blocking the sidewalk for pedestrian & bike traffic. I'm sure they're in complete compliance with the law; especially the one utilizing Discount Tire's parking lot at Sherman Way & Laurel Canyon after dark-- with the cabanas, tables, portable lights & scores of famished people eating Roach Coach slop-- and not an Andy Gump in sight. "Wash our hands? We don't need no stinking washed hands!" Yet, law-abiding citizens know those retail food operations are in complete compliance with business codes, zoning ordinances, health codes, business taxes; and, they do not create a traffic hazard, disrupt the neighborhood with their flashing lights & blaring Ranchero music, or draw an unsavory clientele looking for post-fandango borracho barocho. But a Farmer's Market for a naturally growing plant is deemed a nuisance, unlawful, and harmful to ALL Angelinos. Please...anyone have a spare Saint's ankle bone? I have a dire need for salvation from persecution for a personal belief and physical journey as I slowly migrate away from fermented wheat, yeast & hops in a responsible manner. But hey, as long as the tax-dodging plebeians can gorge themselves on lard & cheap cuts of meat while swilling warm GMO corn syrup laced Budweiser while imbibing pesticide & miticide treated bunk Mexican Cartel Skunk Weed--cough...cough...courtesy of the Zeta Cartel and delivered by Vato street-side-- except that Shake-filled Cartel U-Haul just popped in Bakersfield-- who can judge? Why me, of course! What a bunch of hypocrites. Please with my blessing continue forward towards obesity, diabetes, alcoholism, and lung cancer loyal plebes-- and remember Special Order 90-32-A(1)-- salted meat and sugared vino for all...." Proceed to crucify.
Michael Linda Gerzen July 20, 2014 at 11:23 PM
Well "Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joanne O'Donnell" Judge Judy look-a-like this is a free market society & it promotes competition & that is good for the medical need. So you impeded the peoples wishes & the design of the law without authority. As for Mike Feuer & his Potty mouth I think both of you need to be impeached.
Buster July 21, 2014 at 11:08 PM
Mike Feuer is an ignorant dumb ass.... Hopefully this will serve to end his political career.

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