Editor's Note: This story was updated at 3 p.m. Dec. 10 with a response from the Murrieta Police Department.
A medical marijuana dispensary that has been operating in Murrieta for a little more than two weeks has been served a notice of the city's moratorium on such operations.
Two Murrieta police code enforcement officers served the notice to Diamond Star Remedies, 41449 Los Alamos Road, just after 11 a.m. Monday.
Patch got video of the officers serving the notice after it was notified by dispensary owner John Szwec that he was expecting a visit from city officials.
Szwec said he was also served a similar notice on Friday after being denied a business license by the city.
Szwec said he is renting the lot on Los Alamos Road with plans to buy it, pave the dirt lot and erect a permanent building. He is serving about 40 patients in a modular building that was already located on the site.
"As soon as they (the city) are willing to stop harassing—and start following state laws—I will eventually pave this and put a building up,” Szwec told Patch.
He said he chose the Murrieta location because he found a landlord who was willing to allow its use for a dispensary.
Diamond Star Remedies is currently serving about 40 patients he said, all of whom have provided a valid doctor's recommendation and valid California identification.
Szwec said he is licensed by the California State Board of Equalization to dispense medical marijuana, as use of the drug is permitted for medical purposes under the state's Compassionate Use Act.
"We filed for a business license, told the city what we were doing," Szwec said. "It was denied. This is about safe access for people with a doctor's recommendation."
There is no signage on the nondescript dispensary near the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Los Alamos Road.
"We are not trying to make it noticeable, it's just safe access," Szwec said.
Szwec said he has hired an attorney to defend his right to operate under state law.
The city is currently involved in two lawsuits over dispensaries that have since ceased operations.
Murrieta city council unanimously voted in September to extend the city's moratorium for one year while it awaits a state Supreme Court decision on whether cities have the power to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries in their jurisdictions.
Murrieta code enforcement Linda Mejia said her job in serving the notice Monday was as a city liaison, to give the dispensary information on legal uses of the property.
She referred questions to the Murrieta Police Department.
Lt. Tony Conrad, who oversees detective operations, confirmed the police department was looking into the dispensary and that he would provide further comment Tuesday.