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Medical marijuana dispensary ordered to "cease and desist"

Fallbrook's medical marijuana dispensary has shut its doors after being served with a cease and desist order by the county.

According to Fallbrook Sheriff's substation commander Lt. Phil Brust, Mother Earths Alternative Healing Cooperative, located at 434 East Mission Road, was ordered to vacate its building February 5 due to violation of San Diego County regulations.

“The dispensary was operating in violation of county Ordinance Section 10,000 <an ordinance extending a moratorium on the establishment of marijuana dispensaries>,” said Brust.

Brust said the dispensary had also built interior walls without proper permitting, and had changed its building occupational classification without certification of occupancy. Brust explained that the cease and desist order was given to Fallbrook's dispensary on an individual basis.

“I'm pleased it happened,” said Brust. “Medical marijuana cooperatives such as this are a gray area as far as businesses. Many people who go to them are not merely cancer patients or others permitted to use marijuana. More and more young people are obtaining cards to obtain marijuana.”

According to Brust, the dispensary, which opened last year, was located within 1,000 feet of two schools and a children's day care center.

“We wouldn't allow a liquor store to be this close to a school, but this dispensary was there,” said Brust. “The dispensary's location just wasn't conducive.”

Currently, the county is working on an ordinance that would regulate the proximity in which medical marijuana dispensaries can be located to schools, day care centers and areas where children may be exposed.

For now, Brust is pleased to know the county has shut down the dispensary without the need for officer involvement.

“All of this was done without law enforcement ,” said Brust. “But we did check to ensure that the dispensary was acting within its ordinance.”


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