Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Court of Appeal Declares:
Marijuana Dispensary Can’t Regain Grandfathered Status
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A medical marijuana dispensary which enjoyed qualified immunity from the City of Los Angeles’s ban on such businesses under a grandfather clause, but was shut down based on its failure to meet a fingerprinting requirement, is not now entitled to re-open based on the managers having had their fingerprints taken, the Court of Appeal for this district held yesterday.
Justice Elizabeth Grimes of Div. Eight wrote the opinion, which was not certified for publication. It affirms a decision by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joanne O’Donnell not to dissolve an injunction, obtained by the city, against operations of Progressive Horizon, Inc.
The dispensary, located in an industrial area in the eastern portion of the city, was initially exempted from the dispensary ban enacted by voters in 2013, as an existing and licensed business.
However, the ballot measure, Proposition D, contained this proviso:
“Every medical marijuana business is prohibited that fails to identify by name and residence address each of its Managers to the City Clerk by October 31 of each year and whose Managers fail to successfully pass and publicly display at the location of the medical marijuana business the results of an annual LAPD LiveScan [fingerprint] background check to be completed by January 31 of each year. A failed LAPD LiveScan is a LiveScan that includes any felony conviction within the past ten years and/or current parole or probation for the sale or distribution of a controlled substance.”
After operations of the dispensary were enjoined, based on failure to meet the fingerprinting requirement, Progressive Horizon moved to have the injunction dissolved because the violation had been “cured.”
Grandfathered Status Lost
“The ordinance does not provide that immunity, once lost, may be restored. It provides that a business not complying with the ordinance is prohibited, and that the immunity is only available to businesses that do not violate the ordinance….Progressive is such a business. Proposition D was enacted to curtail the proliferation of medical marijuana businesses, therefore, the loss of immunity for noncompliance with the act is not ‘absurd.’”
The case is People v. Progressive Horizon, Inc., B263622.
Richard H. Gordon, Kiana Sloan-Hillier, and Joel R. Isaacson were attorneys on appeal for Progressive Horizon. Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney Ryan Borho represented the city.
Copyright 2016, Metropolitan News Company