The city of Rancho Mirage, California is trying to close down another collective in their city. Rancho Mirage Safe Access Wellness Center opened in mid-June and the city is already trying to shut them down.
The collective, located on Highway 111 near the city’s border with Palm Desert, is located in the Executive Suites Plaza, which is an iconic building in the city.
According to City Attorney Steve Quintanilla, neighbors began complaining that they could smell marijuana smoke in the area. This is what initially alerted officials to the presence of the collective, which does not have a business license. The dispensary also failed to obtain a certificate of occupancy before opening. Both the business license and certificate of occupancy are required of all businesses.
On Wednesday, the city will try to shut Rancho Mirage Safe Access Wellness Center through a Riverside County Superior Court Judge.
Dispensaries were banned in the city in February 2011, but under the California state constitution the ordinance was ruled invalid by a Superior Court Judge. The city will now appeal that decision with a different judge, John Evans.
Joseph Rhea, attorney for Rancho Mirage Safe Access is arguing that medical marijuana collectives are stuck in a series of “circular logic.” He explained, “You can’t open a business without a license, but they won’t give you a license.” Rhea’s clients have offered to follow interim rules set by the city until the Supreme Court rules on the legality of an outright ban, but city officials are refusing.
Rhea is hoping that the judge will rule in favor of California voters and medical marijuana patients by upholding the ruling that a ban on all collectives is invalid.