Thousand Palms marijuana dispensary ordered closed

State appeals court reverses lower court ruling and clear way for Riverside County to close two contested shops

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A Thousand Palms marijuana dispensary is one of two ordered closed, according to Riverside county, after a state appeals court in Riverside reversed a lower-court ruling.

The order requires two marijuana dispensaries in Riverside county to cease operations immediately. It also prohibits them from operating anywhere else in unincorporated county areas, said the county in a statement.

The two dispensaries are Nature's Relief Group near Murrieta and MOSA Collective, Inc. in Thousand Palms.

Riverside county said it repeatedly notified both businesses they were operating illegally and to cease operations.

County attorneys argued storefront marijuana dispensaries violate the county's ban, and illegally selling marijuana poses a significant threat to public health and safety.

County officials expect it will take several months to conclude a related legal challenge in the appellate court.

In the meantime, the county says code enforcement officials will check to confirm that the two dispensaries have immediately closed and will take further action if needed.

The county will also use all judicial and other available enforcement remedies to ensure the appellate court's ruling is followed.

The Fourth District Appellate Court in Riverside had ruled in November as part of a City of Riverside case that local governments can ban dispensaries.

The county says Ttuesday's decision reaffirms that ruling and sends a clear message to businesses within the court's jurisdiction - Riverside, San Bernardino and Inyo counties - that local governments can ban dispensaries, county officials said.

The ruling does not resolve ongoing efforts by the county and some cities to close marijuana dispensaries. It only reverses a May 30 decision by Riverside Superior Court Judge John Vineyard.

He denied the county's request for an injunction against Nature's Relief Group and MOSA Collective, Inc.

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