Court order reopens pot dispensaries

COSTA MESA — A group of shuttered marijuana dispensaries previously deemed public nuisances were allowed to reopen in the city this weekend thanks to a court order, confirmed one of the business owners Saturday.

Sue Lester, a former City Council candidate and owner of Herban Elements at 440 Fair Drive, said an Orange County Superior Court judge's order Friday allowing her business to reopen was the "right thing to do" pending a court hearing next month.

Costa Mesa city officials took aim at the Fair Drive property and several marijuana dispensary and massage parlor businesses in April, declaring them all a public nuisance. Police said some of the massage parlors were fronts for prostitution.

Lester's business was among those ordered to shut down earlier this month under a temporary injunction until they had a chance to appeal it Friday. The judge lifted the injunction and scheduled the business owners and Costa Mesa's attorneys to appear back in court June 3 to argue their cases.

For about the last year, Costa Mesa has taken aim at select marijuana dispensaries throughout the city. Some were ordered to shut down because they flagrantly violated California's marijuana dispensary regulations and others were left alone because they appeared to follow state standards, city officials said.

Lester argued her dispensary is one of those that follows state guidelines.

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