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Judge orders dispensary to stop selling pot

January 29, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A Los Angeles judge ordered a local medical marijuana dispensary to stop selling cannabis in what is believed to be the first decision of its kind. Los Angeles city officials are hailing the ruling, saying it is the first to find it's illegal for dispensaries to sell marijuana.Friday's ruling affects only one dispensary here in Eagle Rock. But city attorneys say it could impact the hundreds of other marijuana dispensaries operating throughout Los Angeles. This comes in the wake of new city ordinance aimed at shutting down dispensaries that operate like retail marijuana shops.

The Hemp Factory V on Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock was still open for business Friday, despite a judge's order that says the small outlet is violating state law.

The man who was working behind the counter said the owner was not there, and that he had no comment on Friday's ruling.

Earlier Friday afternoon, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant ordered the dispensary to stop selling marijuana as part of the city's lawsuit against the shop.

City prosecutors say California's medical marijuana law never meant for dispensaries to sell the marijuana. But dispensary owners say they sell it to their customers as a way to cover the costs.

Friday, Chalfant agreed, saying that retail stores do not satisfy the requirement of a collective to cultivate marijuana.

City attorneys say this should send a message to other dispensaries. And city leaders who just approved a new ordinance hailed the ruling.

"This ruling basically confirms what the city attorney's been stating, what we've been stating all along: It cannot be sold," said L.A. City Councilman Dennis Zine. "So we applaud that court decision and we will continue to support medical marijuana for people who seriously need it for medical problems."


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