Murrieta Marijuana Dispensary Shut Down by Judge

The court ruled in favor of the City of Murrieta, granting a preliminary injunction against Cooperative Medical Group (CMG).

A medical marijuana dispensary that was open less than two weeks in Murrieta was shut down indefinitely Thursday by a Riverside judge.

Judge Craig Reimer ruled in favor of the City of Murrieta, granting a preliminary injunction against Cooperative Medical Group, or CMG Outreach.

The dispensary, located at 26690 Madison Ave., Suite 103, is too close to Sky High Party Zone, an indoor play area with inflatable jumpers, the judge ruled. Sky High's owner told the court that 500 children a week frequent the play center.

The ruling stated that crime increases near medical marijuana dispensaries, and that CMG therefore posed a threat to the public safety and welfare of the children.

On July 16, the dispensary was burglarized.

The injunction follows a restraining order obtained by the city on July 22 after Police Chief Mike Baray asked City Council to declare it a public nuisance. The declaration was approved unanimously.

The cooperative is licensed from the State Board of Equalization to dispense marijuana for medical purposes. While medical marijuana is legal in California, many municipalities have banned dispensaries from operating.

The ruling states that CMG violates city law, as Murrieta implemented an ordinance in 2005 banning dispensaries.

CMG is appealing the judge's decision, according to court records. A court date was set for January.

The dispensary owners could not be reached for comment Thursday; nor could their attorney.

Patch learned the suite was purchased by the owners for the purpose of running the dispensary.

The injunction states they are free to conduct other business on the property, with the exception of dispensing marijuana to patients.

Nine days after it opened, owners said there were at least 200 patients who had joined the cooperative.

There are at least three dispensaries just outside Murrieta city limits, near Sky Canyon Drive, earlier this week before the suspected burglar was caught.

Anon August 12, 2011 at 03:22 PM
I am so sick of these places just opening everywhere. One in every county is more what they need. The infortunate part is that they were open for a few weeks and probably made a ton of money off of the illegal sales they did.
Raye Lynn August 12, 2011 at 03:44 PM
I am not an advocate of medical marijuana dispensaries or even marijuana for that matter, but what is unfortunate is that this place applied for and received a license to do business, from the City of Murrieta. Once licensed, they went out and spent the money and time to open for business. The city knew of the intentions of the owners and business, why allow them to prepare for and open for business only to be shut down a couple weeks later?
Gina August 12, 2011 at 05:07 PM
punish the business owner who provides a need the community voted to legalize because of burglers? How about the police who the tax payers pay for protect the small business owners? I'm sure a burgler would rob an Apple store too... maybe we should ban the pet store in Murrieta because it got robbed a couple of months ago...
Paul August 12, 2011 at 05:18 PM
Wasn't Jack in the box, near there robbed a few days ago. Aren't children near there too. Is the city going to close it too.
Paul August 12, 2011 at 05:33 PM
Maybe someone came to city hall and showed the city council and policemen the 1936 propaganda movie "Reefer Madness" made to indoctrinate the public against marijuana so that the anti-marijuana Harry Anslinger could increase his salary and power. Check Google to see the movie free on line and learn about Harry going all over the country telling big lies against marijuana. He got congress in a near secret committee session to pass the marijuana tax stamp act over the opposition of the American Medical Association. Doctors and patients referred to it by its real name, cannabis, and did not find out until later they had been tricked.
Paul August 12, 2011 at 05:42 PM
The exchange of medicine for money by members of a collective who have the medical recommendation of a state licensed doctor IS NOT ILLEGAL! The state legislature passed this law. The fact this city council has a flat earth viewpoint about the medical value does NOT make it against the state marijuana laws and you should NOT call it illegal. What should be illegal is for cities to prohibit it.
Paul August 12, 2011 at 05:46 PM
IF the place did sell the medicine to a person who did not have the doctor recommendation and did not qualify to get one, then it is probably an "illegal sale" subject to prosecution.
Paul August 12, 2011 at 05:57 PM
It is NOT established California law that cities can prohibit the storefront distribution of medical marijuana as Murrieta and Temecula think they can do. At lower court levels some locations got court orders to close ones that try, and other locations the cities have been sued by patient groups, and the city has so far been unable to get the appellate court to agree. There is a question of whether cities can defy the state laws.
Paul August 12, 2011 at 06:01 PM
A couple of weeks ago in Oceanside the city tried the same stunt as Murrieta did, but the collective got an experienced attorney who got the cities emergency temporary injunction overturned, and let the place remain open until the date of the actual hearing for a permanate injunction.
Paul August 12, 2011 at 06:15 PM
An experienced attorney representing 12 dispensaries, some in Riverside, Colton, Fontana, and other cities around there has taken a different approach. In two cases in Colton the appellate court ruled the city could not declare the dispensaries a nuisance just because the city has tried to ban them with a zoning law. Therefore the lawyer for the dispensary has filed FIRST for a court injunction to prohibit the city of Riverside from enforcing its zoning law that does not allow dispensaries. The lawyer believes the city code is illegal. SO that will have to wait until a court decides, then an appellate court decides, then the state supreme court decides.
Paul August 12, 2011 at 06:32 PM
The city is wrong to not change its city law that was probably based on the reissued version of the "Reefer Madness" film. They claim falsely that crime increases nearby. But the stats they cite are in locations where the city failed to allow properly permitted dispensaries that meet reasonable city codes for hours of operation, lighting, signage, theft safeguards, video cameras inside and in the parking lot, qualifications for the operators. etc. Actual large scale studies show that crime actually WENT DOWN near the dispensaries during a time period that crime in the rest of the city went up. It is true that in some locations where big cities would not allow dispensaries some have sprung up anyway by persons looking for a fast buck that do not meet the above requirements there has been an increase in crime. Dispensaries should be allowed anywhere that drug stores or doctor offices are allowed. Preferably located in well lighted areas with good parking lots but also on a bus line.
Gina August 13, 2011 at 02:43 AM
do you have any clue how big Riverside and any county is? That is totally unrealistic. How would you like to be forced to drive 50 miles or more just to get your medicine... especially if you have cancer or something like that? These places blend in to where most people don't even know they exist... and how do you know they made illegal sales? Dispenseries are so strict because they don't want to lose their business.
Andy August 15, 2011 at 09:03 PM
Incredible. They legalize medical marijuana, and after 15 years they cant find a way to distribute it correctly. Our government has lost it.


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