Kern County to launch civil action against pot shops

Kern County to launch civil action against pot shops

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Kern County is going after marijuana dispensaries with civil action in the wake of Measure G's demise.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday authorized County Counsel to initiate actions for injunction, abatement and civil penalties against 10 pot shops, their operators and landlords.

The county says the dispensaries are in violation of the zoning ordinance and are a public nuisance.

The action comes after a county judge in February threw out the county's voter-approved Measure G.

The measure permitted dispensaries only in areas zoned medium or heavy industrial, with some additional restrictions.

Without Measure G, the county believes that pot shops aren't allowed anywhere.

The dispensaries targeted by the county are:

-- Natural Treatment, 1810 N. Chester Ave., Bakersfield
-- Highway 99 Collective, 3980 Saco Road, Bakersfield
-- Taft Highway Collective, 3024 Highway 119, Bakersfield
-- Tiger Vitality Collective, 2222 S. Chester Ave., Bakersfield
-- Bear Mountain Cooperative, 318 White Lane, Bakersfield
-- Chronically Inclined, 16866 Highway 14, Mojave
-- Organic Health Solutions Inc., 1315 W. Rosamond Blvd., Ste. A, Rosamond
-- All Green Collective, 2753 Diamond St., Rosamond
-- Antelope Valley Diamond Collective, 1733 Sierra Highway, Rosamond
-- Desert Collective Co-op, 2763 Sierra Highway, Rosamond

Kern County leaders have taken several different approaches to pot shops in the last few years.
Going back to August 2011, county supervisors enacted an emergency ordinance on how much marijuana could be grown for medical use. That limit was 12 plants per parcel. At that time, the board also enacted an ordinance that banned store-front dispensaries. That was set to take effect in September 2011.
But, the ordinance for the dispensary ban was suspended when marijuana supporters got enough signatures challenging it.
In February 2012, county supervisors then repealed the ordinance banning the dispensaries and put Measure G on the ballot.
"The county zoning ordinance promotes and protects the public health, safety, and welfare of the community through the orderly regulation of land uses," Board Chair Leticia Perez said in a county news release. "Medical marijuana dispensaries are not allowed in the unincorporated areas of Kern County under section 19.02.060 of the county's zoning ordinance, and the county intends to protect the community by enforcing its zoning ordinance. Dispensaries will be issued cease-and-desist letters to give them an opportunity to voluntarily shut down their operations and avoid litigation."