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L.A. city attorney seeks court order to halt cannabis farmers market

L.A. city attorney is seeking an injunction to stop the city's first-ever cannabis-centric farmers market

The Los Angeles city attorney is seeking an injunction to stop what's being dubbed as the city's first-ever cannabis-centric farmers market, which opened for business over the Fourth of July weekend.

The medical marijuana market opened July 4-6 inside a Boyle Heights warehouse and continued to operate this past weekend, following its successful start.

But City Atty. Mike Feuer says his office will request a temporary restraining order to stop operations.

"We're fighting to stop this end-run around the will of the voters who enacted Proposition D," Feuer said in a statement. "We allege these events also violate city land-use law and are causing a public nuisance. We will do everything we can to put a halt to them."

Feuer's action alleges the market didn't comply with requirements outlined in Proposition D, a ballot measure passed last year that set up the legal parameters for dispensaries to remain open.

The market reportedly created a public nuisance, resulting in accessibility and safety issues, he said.

The market, Feuer said, constituted "an unauthorized, unpermitted use of the property" because its operation did not obtained required zoning approvals.

The operation also “violates California’s unfair competition law and detracts from the quality of life of the community and unjustly enriches the defendants.”

David Welch, who represents the market's operators, says the city's latest move probably doesn't comply with Proposition D and is misrepresenting the law.

He said the market's executive director, Paizley Bradbury, who is named by city officials as Paizley Gabrielle Lee, spoke earlier Monday to an engineer with the city's Building and Safety Department who told her a permit was not necessary.

Welch said the city is making compliance impossible for his client, even though she is following the law.

Organizers of the California Heritage Market, which was confined to the warehouse directly behind the West Coast Collective dispensary in an industrial zone, opened the market only to card-carrying medical marijuana patients.

The market quickly became successful, drawing medical marijuana patients hoping to buy products directly from the growers instead of from a dispensary.

At the time, city and police officials did not publicly object to the event. But late Monday, Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for Feuer, said that while the warehouse "is in an industrial area," there is public property surrounding it.

He said the market affected other businesses by blocking sidewalks and had “a big impact on law enforcement resources, too.”

A preliminary hearing on the injunction is scheduled to be heard at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.  

Times staff writer Emily Alpert Reyes contributed to this report.

For breaking news in Los Angeles and throughout California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA. She can be reached at veronica.rocha@latimes.com.


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