Orange County Superior Court Judge David Chaffee ruled Aug. 19 that the city of Anaheim may legally prohibit medical cannabis dispensaries. This is the second hearing of Anaheim vs Qualified Patients' Association, which was remanded to the lower court by the 4th District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana last year. The court ruled that Anaheim's dispensary ban is a valid exercise of local police powers and is not pre-empted by Prop 215 or SB 420. The decision concedes that SB 420 protects patients and caregivers engaged in collective cultivation, but that protection is limited to cultivation, not distribution. The decision cites a litany of case law giving local government broad powers to regulate for nuisance abatement.
The new decision will probably be headed back to the Court of Appeal for what could be a crucial ruling on whether cities and counties have the power to ban dispensaries—as more than 200 California cities and 15 counties have already done. (Weed Blog, LAT, Aug. 19)