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Monterey dispensary remains open, minus the dispensing
The group that opened a medical marijuana dispensary on Lighthouse Avenue in Monterey will keep its center open as a meeting place for current members of their cooperative, the Monterey County Herald reports.
A member who answered the door Thursday, who identified himself only as Marc, said the court order issued March 12 against the cooperative, MyCaregiver Inc., prohibits only operation of a medical marijuana dispensary at the location.
“We are here and we are open to existing members,” he said. Members can go to the center to congregate and “then do whatever it is that members want to do,” Marc said.
The center was closed earlier in the week because he was sick, Marc said.
Monterey City Attorney Deborah Mall said the people using the building are allowed to remain there and would be in compliance with the court order as long as medical marijuana is not dispensed.
“I don’t really know what they are doing down there,” Mall said.
The building’s owner, Jerald Heisel of Carmel, did not return a call Thursday seeking comment about the use of his property.
The front door and windows of the building have drapes drawn shut, and only members of the cooperative are allowed inside. The front door is kept locked. A camera mounted inside the door is aimed at the entrance, and another camera is mounted outside the building above the sidewalk.
The city sued MyCaregiver and its director, Jhonrico Carrnshimba, after learning that a medical marijuana dispensary was operating
at the location.
City officials argued that the nature of MyCaregiver’s business was not fully disclosed and was listed only as “Health care Cooperative/Individual & Family Services.” They said operating a medical marijuana dispensary violates city zoning codes.
MyCaregiver also opened without a business license, city officials said.
Jim Roberts, the attorney representing MyCaregiver, has said the cooperative is a private nonprofit that complies with state law, and a business license or permit is not needed.
State voters approved medical marijuana use in 1996.
A court hearing was held March 12, and Judge Robert O’Farrell ruled in favor of the city, directing MyCaregiver to stop operating as a medical marijuana dispensary.
Roberts has filed an appeal on behalf of his clients.
A moratorium on applications for medical marijuana dispensaries in Monterey was adopted by the City Council in February and will remain in effect through the end of the year unless other regulations are adopted before then.
The council has directed city staff to draft proposed regulations.