A Shasta County Superior Court judge upheld Thursday, July 19, the City of Anderson’s 2011 zoning ban on medical marijuana collectives and set a Dec. 18 trial for a lawsuit filed against the city by owners of The Green Heart, a compassionate use collective operating in Anderson since 2009.
Redlands, Calif.,-based attorney James DeAguilera, arguing by telephone conference call on behalf of the collective’s owners Gina and Joe Munday of Anderson, sought to modify or dissolve the city’s preliminary injunction halting sales of medical marijuana at the collective based on recent changes in California law.
Department 3 Judge Stephen H. Baker agreed with DeAquilera that his original decision granting the city’s injunction was, in part, based on a 2011 court decision made in the City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patient’s Health and Wellness Center, a case that DeAguilera pointed out again Thursday was later appealed and set for review later this year by the California Supreme Court.
However, Baker said he also agreed with Anderson’s attorney Daniel S. Roberts, a partner of Best Best & Krieger LLP’s office in Irvine, who contended the mere fact a review had been granted in that case did not constitute a change in state law.
In Judge Baker’s tentative ruling, also declared his final ruling at the end of the 30-minute hearing, Baker declared, “(t)he law has not been changed” and denied DeAguilera’s motion on that basis.
In setting a date for trial, Baker did take into account that two newer and apparently contradictory District 2 Court of Appeals decisions – County of Los Angeles v. Alternative Medicinal Cannabis Collective published July 2 and 420 Caregivers LLC v. City of Los Angeles published July 3 – did “illustrate the changing landscape of the law” and, after some negotiations, chose Dec. 18 for a trial in the Munday’s lawsuit seeking at least $25,000 in damages and overturning or amending the city’s zoning ordinance to allow their medical marijuana collective to continue operating.
Judge Baker also set mandatory settlement conference for Nov. 5, in case either of the two parties desire an out-of-court agreement on the matter.