Landlord Sues San Bernardino Over Marijuana Regulations | Marijuana

Landlord Sues San Bernardino Over Marijuana Regulations


By Brian Melley 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A woman who owns a business that claims to be California’s largest landlord of marijuana businesses sued the city of San Bernardino to overturn its pot regulation ordinance that could bar her from the industry.

Stephanie Smith, the owner of a business called Bubba Likes Tortillas, said in the lawsuit filed Friday in San Bernardino County Superior Court that the city’s new law could create monopolies and also prevent her from renting property to pot growers and other marijuana operations.

The dispute dates back to December when a fortified building Smith owns was raided, cultivation operations her clients were operating were shut down and 35,000 marijuana plants were seized. Smith was not involved with pot growing and she was not arrested or charged, her attorney Ben Eilenberg said.

After the raids, a judge invalidated a voter-approved measure to regulate marijuana operations and San Bernardino City Council passed its own measure to replace it earlier this month.

The new rules said anyone — from a permit applicant or an employee of a cannabis business to the owner of a property — could be barred from the commercial cannabis business in the city if they had violated local or state laws related to the industry or if they had failed to report income from it.

Smith is concerned that could apply to tenants — or even her company — because the businesses raided in December were in the process of being licensed, Eilenberg said. They received approval letters to operate a week after they were shut down, but the law appears to make them ineligible to get licenses.

“This misguided ordinance is a backdoor ban that continues the city’s illogical campaign against a legal product,” Smith said in a statement. “Any person who has ever had anything to do with cannabis is banned for life from entering the legal market under this ordinance. It is not what the voters want and it makes no sense.”

Eilenberg said it could also apply to businesses that operated in the murky days when medical marijuana was loosely regulated. Cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco have given priority to license businesses that operated under medical marijuana regulations to get into the broader retail market that opened Jan. 1.

“San Bernardino is taking the opposite tack and guaranteeing that anyone in the city who operated prior to this law has to remain in the black market,” Eilenberg said.

The lawsuit said the ordinance would violate the constitutional right to due process by disqualifying tenants or Smith without ever granting them an administrative or criminal hearing.

The lawsuit also claimed the city law could create monopolies of certain types of marijuana operating licenses.

The ordinance would allow 17 commercial marijuana businesses in the city, but there are 19 different types of licenses that could be issued — everything from growing pot, to transporting it, testing it and selling it.

A city spokeswoman did not immediately comment on the case.

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  1. This is the same tact that the Liberal party of Canada is going down. The business of monopolizing weed will do nothing for the advancement of different strains to treat conic pain, cancer, seizures and other ailments. They are PROFIT driven and what sells they will grow. I had hoped that all of California would show the way. Oh well….

  2. by its nature, and the nature of human brains; our endo-cannabinoid system, cbd’s produced by our bodies – and plant based cbd’s as in cannabis sativa – for use in our brains therapeutic and healing system [incl, pain, seizures, inflammation, immune system, cancer cell apoptosis, and so on, cannabis may be considered to have co-evolved with primate brains, human brains, or if you believe in god, they are and must be; a ‘gifit from god’..

    in either view of this reality, cannabis cultivated and used by humans for thousands of years, including as medicine, has like fruit and vegetables,
    been developed deliberately in specific genetic strains..

    it is not only rational and reasonable but no less than a human duty to retain
    and continue development of these potentially life saving strains..
    these gifts from god..
    some residual from cottage enthusiast growers/breeders must remain
    after whatever legality eventually overcomes prohibition corruption..

    think of rational development of seed baniks,, saving ancient varieties of
    all manner of trees, fruits and vegetables etc, from extinction thus loss
    to future generations.. cannanbis and its strains must be protected..

    big pharma etc, prefer to manufacture tablets or capsules of patented chemicals, not growing cannabis strains for smoking..
    thus home grows and smoking of the herb are seen as the enemy..
    pressure is exerted to decisionmakers to create laws forbidding
    home grows, or even smoking as ingestion method..

    the wise [not typical politicians] must make provisions for the future
    and future potential users of therapeutic cannabis cbd’s..

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