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Hesperia shuts down Mesa marijuana dispensary
HESPERIA • The doors to one of the last remaining medical marijuana dispensaries in Hesperia are permanently locked, after owners of the High Desert Compassionate Collective were evicted.
Owners of the collective, located in the four-unit strip mall in the Mesa area, on the corner of Danbury Road and “I” Avenue, were served papers on Wednesday morning — one day short of HDCC’s five-month anniversary.
“It’s been a slow process, but we finally accomplished our goal,” City Councilman Thurston “Smitty” Smith said. “We have one more collective in the industrial area to close.”
Since 2005, 20 collectives have been closed, as the city began citing property owners for allowing collectives to operate without a business permit, certificate of occupancy or other city required documents.
“These places have been operating illegally for a long time,” Mayor Russ Blewett said. “State law allows for the collectives, but they are not functioning as defined by the law.”
Dispensaries quickly closed their doors once the city began its code enforcement process, which fined business owners and landlords $1,500 a day, Blewett said.
“Once we put pressure on the landlords, we saw these businesses close one-by-one,” Smith said.
“The collective filed a demurrer against the city to outlaw the ordinance, but the court turned them down and the landlord was allowed to proceed with the eviction,” Blewett said. “The court saw no validity in their argument, and now they are gone.”
Jody Meade, co-owner of All About You salon, said her clients are quite tickled that the dispensary has closed.
“We never had any problems with the people that ran the dispensary; they’ve actually been respectful and nice,” Meade said. “We have two units available, now that Sancho’s Tacos and the dispensary are gone.”
Meade was surprised at the number of seniors who visited the dispensary on a regular basis, and hopes that the city, state and business owners will get on the same page with the issue in order to help those who legitimately need help.
Residents near the dispensary were outraged after the collective opened near a martial arts studio, and within three miles of six different schools.
Rene De La Cruz may be reached at (760) 951-6227 or at RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com.