City of Los Angeles fighting marijuana "farmers market"

City Attorneys asking judge to issue a restraining order claiming it violates a voter-approved measure limiting dispensaries

LOS ANGELES - Attorneys for the city of Los Angeles will ask a judge today for a restraining order blocking the operation of a medical marijuana ``farmers market'' in Boyle Heights, claiming it runs afoul of a voter-approved measure limiting the number of dispensaries in the city and is an unauthorized use of the property.

``We're fighting to stop this end-run around the will of the voters who enacted Proposition D,'' City Attorney Mike Feuer said on the eve of this morning's hearing.

``We allege these events also violate city land use law and are causing a public nuisance. We will do everything we can to put a halt to them.''

The California Heritage Market, operated by the West Coast Collective, opened for business over the Fourth of July weekend, attracting hoards of customers who waited in long lines for a chance to review its wares.

Feuer, however, said the operation violates Proposition D, which limits the number of legal dispensaries allowed in the city, and is an unauthorized and unpermitted use of the property on Esperanza Street. 

He also says the operation creates a public nuisance due to traffic and large crowds, causing safety hazards and blocking access to nearby properties.

David Welch, attorney for West Coast Collective, said Feuer has no evidence against the collective and is ``simply making wild allegations.''

``I think their action violates the will of the voters because their own list on the city attorney's website says this organization is a permitted medical marijuana business in the city of Los Angeles,'' Welch said.

Collective members who grow marijuana are allowed to sell their products to other members, he said.

Welch accused Feuer of ``trying to close down every dispensary he can in Los Angeles.''

"This is an example of that,'' he said. ``The city is angry that Prop D passed. 

It seems like the city attorney does not believe in it (and is trying to) do an end run around Prop D to violate and deny the will of the voters.''  

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