Lake Forest may forcibly close all Lake Forest medical marijuana dispensaries

Lake Forest city officials could move today to forcibly close any medical marijuana dispensaries still operating in the wake of a judge ordering all of them shut on Monday.

Only two of 10 dispensaries – New Amsterdam Cooperative and Lake Forest Patients Collective Association – were closed by noon Tuesday, a day after Judge David Chaffee ordered all off them to cease operations, the Orange County Register reported.

City personnel found the others still in operation. A notice on the city's website said the dispensaries were required to close by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

"They had their chance in court and the judge's order was pretty specific," Mayor Peter Herzog said. "It's time for them to comply. I appreciate the ones who have shut down. I would hope these people don't want to violate a court order."

Chaffee's ruling, made public Monday, said "all defendants and their officers, agents, employees, representatives and all persons acting in concert or participating with them are prohibited and restrained from engaging in committing, providing the location or performing by any means activity related to the distribution of marijuana."

The city moved to close the dispensaries, saying they were operating in violation of zoning laws. In September, the city sued 35 people, including medical marijuana dispensary owners and landowners who rented to them. Since then, 11 collectives have shut down, and 10 continue to operate.

"This has been an important issue to the city," said Jeffrey Dunn, who has litigated the cases on part of the city. "They [dispensaries] create a whole host of problems for the city. They are not and never have been an allowable use."

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