Judge Halts Marijuana Farmers Market Pending Lawsuit

City Attorney says Boyle Heights market violates marijuana laws, collective cries foul

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A judge issued a temporary injunction against a marijuana farmers market while courts consider a lawsuit brought by the Los Angeles City Attorney. Gordon Tokumatsu reports live for the NBC4 News at Noon July 15, 2014. (Published Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014)

    A judge issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday, blocking operation of a medical marijuana farmers market that attracted large crowds to Boyle Heights during the Fourth of July weekend.

    Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joanne O'Donnell said the scope of the order sought by the city was too broad, so she only ordered the shutdown of the West Coast Collective's "farmers market," which takes place on weekends.

    She also scheduled a hearing for Aug. 6 on whether a preliminary injunction should be issued against the dispensary.

    The order is to last for 14 days and restricts the West Coast Collective from operating the marijuana farmer's market, which drew long lines on its grand opening Fourth of July weekend.

    "The way the city is putting forward they want to shut down my clients operation in full," said David Welch, a West Coast Collective attorney. "The fact that we were able to limit it to a weekend activity was a big win."

    Feuer called the ruling a "great victory for the people of the city of Los Angeles who voted overwhelmingly to support Proposition D."

    He pushed to ban the medical marijuana farmers markets, saying "detracts from the quality of life of the community."

    A judge ruled that pending the outcome of the litigation, the farmers market cannot operate.

    The farmers market allowed anyone with a medical marijuana card to buy directly from growers and bypass dispensaries, a move Feuer said violated city zoning codes and Proposition D, which regulates and taxes medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.

    "If it did, it would blow a hole right through what the voters intended," Feuer said.

    Welch said the city attorney is trying to push his client out of business and that the city's claims that people are there for recreational use is irrelevant.

    "I don't think the city is in a position to determine what the patients or people at the farmers market were actually there for recreational purposes or for medical purposes." Welch said. "Unless the city is everyone's doctor."

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