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Anaheim begins closing medical marijuana dispensaries

May 24, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Anaheim is shutting down 11 medical marijuana clinics. The city has been battling the pot shops for years, but now has the California Supreme Court on its side. A new order took effect Friday, forcing the clinics to close down.

"We have issued cease-operation letters to the 11 dispensaries within the city limits and at 1 o'clock today they are to be shut down," said Ruth Ruiz, a city of Anaheim spokesperson.

The move comes after the state Supreme Court recently ruled cities can ban marijuana dispensaries.

Last week, the city of Garden Grove started its enforcement, and like Anaheim, it's warning those that stay open face a $1,000-per-day fine and possible criminal charges.

A week ago, Eyewitness News found one dispensary in Garden Grove referring customers to a new dispensary located in an Anaheim building. No one answered the door at the location Friday.

At OC Farmacy, a sign tells customers they're closed until further notice.

At one time there were more than 140 marijuana dispensaries operating in Anaheim. Officials say code enforcement reduced that number to 11.

"Medical marijuana shops, for a variety of reasons, there could be criminal activity behind them and that is an operation that the city does take very seriously," said Ruiz.

Anaheim city officials said Friday 10 of the 11 dispensaries were in compliance, meaning only one was found open. That shop is reportedly under investigation. Officials say the operator could face criminal charges or possible fines if it remains open.

Many of the closed shops are now offering delivery instead to try to avoid the ban.


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