As many California medical marijuana collectives breathe a deep sigh of relief, pot clubs in L.A. have been given the green light to operate – thanks to the Second District Court of Appeals decision in California on Tuesday. The court issued the groundbreaking ruling in the County of Los Angeles v. Alternative Medicinal Marijuana Collective or AMCC.
The second district Court of Appeals affirmed that medical marijuana collectives are allowed to operate under existing California state law. They further went on to reject any and all bans that the local municipalities may have imposed on these medical marijuana collectives.
Specifically, the ruling stated that the County of Los Angeles could not implement their complete ban on AMCC or any other legally, fully compliant Prop 215 medical marijuana collectives.
The wonderful thing about this most recent decision from the second District Court of Appeal’s is that it reverses an earlier initial ruling which granted the County of Los Angeles via the Los Angeles Superior Court in May 2011 the right to ban any and all marijuana collectives.
As to the explicit issue of whether or not medical marijuana collectives are legal under California state law the court held that the recurring use of the term ‘dispensary’ within the state’s Health and Safety Code section 11362.768 and the specific mention of verbiage in portion (e) as a ‘storefront or mobile retail outlet‘ point to the obvious intent that MMJ collectives are clearly lawful under section 11362.775 and are endorsed by California state law to dispensary medical marijuana as their primary function.”
This groundbreaking ruling could not have come at a better time, as several other state appellate court rulings which impact marijuana dispensaries throughout California have been granted review by the California Supreme Court, including the most recent controversy in Long Beach.
The Long Beach ruling had more to do with how the different municipalities would regulate marijuana sales. Also it helps clear some of the static noise from the city of Riverside v. inland Empire patient health and wellness center in their case regarding whether or not the city can absolutely ban medical marijuana sales. One caveat for any of those that might get overly excited about this most recent decision. The California Supreme Court may also have an opinion on the AMCC ruling and within the next few weeks could decide whether or not to review this case.
In their ruling the second District Court of Appeal could not have been any more succinct in expressing their belief that medicinal cannabis collectives are absolutely legal under California state law and that cities have absolutely no right to ban them.