City orders pot dispensary to close

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SAN DIEGO — The City of San Diego Thursday obtained a court order to close a marijuana dispensary in Mission Valley, the owners of which had already been shut down once in another location.

According to the City Attorney’s Office, Green Circle Cooperative has to cease operations tomorrow. The facility at 1235 Hotel Circle South opened last month, shortly after the owners were ordered to close down a dispensary at 2107 Third Ave., city officials said.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said dispensary operators will pay a high price when they ignore city zoning laws and defy a judge who tells them not to reopen without proper permits.

“We’ll hit them in the pocketbook as often as it takes for them to get the message,” Goldsmith said.

“Like any other business, marijuana dispensaries must conform to zoning regulations designed to protect neighborhood standards and safety. There is a process for legally zoned dispensaries, and that process should be followed.”

The court order applies to the dispensary’s president, Michael Yono; the Green Banner Inc., which operated the prior dispensary; Lance Paul Kachi, president of Green Banner; and Robyn Barrett, owner of the Mission Valley property.

A dispensary operating in the Skyline neighborhood was shuttered last week. The City Attorney’s Office said it would seek court judgments next week against operators in Grantville and North Park.

“We know there are other dispensaries operating illegally in San Diego beyond those that are referred to us for prosecution,” Goldsmith said. “As cases are brought to us by the San Diego Police Department or Code Enforcement Division, we will close them down and obtain monetary sanctions.”

The city’s Development Services Department has approved a permit for a medical marijuana dispensary near Brown Field on Otay Mesa. A hearing on an appeal is set for next month.

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