El Cajon continues drive to close medical marijuana dispensaries

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The City of El Cajon is continuing its efforts to shut down illegal medical marijuana dispensaries. In the last three years, the City, aided by the Police Department, the City Attorney and Code Enforcement have shut down 31 marijuana dispensaries.

The City said a facility at 905 West Main, which operated the longest and was the worst violator of municipal laws were closed last week.

“They’re out of business and we don’t have to worry about this particular dispensary anymore,” said El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells.

The operators were ordered to pay $75,000 in civil penalties. KUSI’s Sasha Foo paid a visit to the now-shuttered dispensary and witnessed a man sitting in a folding chair across the street, who appeared to be watching for customers who might be cruising by. He disappeared shortly after KUSI showed up. The next stop was another former dispensary site in the 400 block of South Magnolia. 

It was vacant now and was undergoing renovation. A woman who worked in a community clinic nearby said after one shop closes on the property,  another one moves in. The woman said she had seen at least six different operators set up shop on the site over the last three years.

Despite the City’s best efforts to shut them down, some illegal dispensaries are still in business.

At the door of one of the shops that had closed, KUSI picked up a flyer advertising special deals for another dispensary called “Greenfield Greens.”  KUSI then made an unannounced visit to the facility on 2nd Street where we received a chilly reception.

No one would come out to answer our questions.

Under El Cajon’s municipal code, businesses that sell and distribute marijuana are illegal.  

Although California has approved the sale of recreational marijuana and permits for those sales will be issued as soon as 2018,  Mayor Bill Wells said his city will be holding firm on its prohibition of all marijuana dispensaries as well as the manufacturing, cultivation, storage, and delivery of cannabis products.

“So far, the mood of the Council has been to have no tolerance for marijuana dispensaries in any way or at any time,” Wells said.

Next week, the El Cajon City Council will consider hiking the fines against the dispensaries, from $500 a day to $2,500 a day.

The Mayor said the City Council may also decide to change these offenses into criminal violations so they will be easier and faster to prosecute. 

Categories: Local San Diego News