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LA Superior Court Issues Preliminary Injunction against Marijuana Dispensary in Bellflower

By Tammye McDuff

Judge Margaret Bernal of the Los Angeles County Superior Court issued a Preliminary Injunction restricting the operation of a marijuana dispensary known as the Bellflower Patient Group that has been operating at 16203 Clark Avenue, according to a release sent out by the Bellflower City Manager December 11.

The press release further states, “the Preliminary Injunction prohibits Bellflower Patient Group, its principal, and the property owner, from causing or allowing the operation of any dispensary, cooperative or collective or any other unlicensed use at the location.  Specifically, the order prohibits selling, serving, storing, keeping, or giving away of marijuana at the property or at any other property under the Defendants’ control.”

The Bellflower Municipal Code does not allow for the operation of marijuana dispensaries in the City, and the City works with property owners to educate them on City requirements and to ensure all businesses in the City are operating successfully and legally.

The City of Bellflower took aggressive action to address several complaints of noise, litter, loitering, drug use, and other nuisances from residents in the neighborhood surrounding the Bellflower Patient Group and has attempted to work with the property owner to bring the property into compliance.

When initial efforts proved unsuccessful, the City was forced to take legal action.  According to City Prosecutor James Eckart, “the City’s priority is the health, safety, welfare, and quality of life for Bellflower residents, business owners, and guests.  The City is prepared to initiate legal action against any person or operation that seeks to illegally profit through the sale of marijuana in the City, and will enforce all applicable laws to the fullest extent possible.”

Assistant to the City Manager, Ryan Smoot told HMG, “the illegal operation of this unlicensed business has been on the radar of City Hall for sometime. We have received many complaints from neighboring businesses and residents about drug associated problems in the neighborhood. Not only are they a non-licensed business, Bellflower Patient Group is operating outside the constraints of the city’s ordinances.”

Upon further investigation, HMG found that the alleged dispensary is located at the corner of Clark Street and Los Angeles Street. The small business complex houses five units, with Bellflower Patient Group being listed in the White Pages as Unit E, however this unit has signage stating that it is a dental lab. The windows of Unit E are blacked out and the door has a buzzer allowing for entry.