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City of Santa Ana
Tuesday September 12th, 2017 :: 01:56 p.m. PDT


Santa Ana City Council Takes Action against Illegal Marijuana Dispensaries

SANTA ANA, CA – At their last council meeting, the Santa Ana City Council authorized the filing and prosecution of receivership actions against the owners of four marijuana dispensaries operating illegally throughout the city.  The Council’s action on September 5, 2017, escalates the City’s efforts to permanently shut down these dispensaries which pose extreme health and safety hazards to the community.

Receivership is a legal process through which control of a piece of real property is temporarily taken from the property owner and placed with a court-appointed office, or Receiver. These receivership actions are used primarily for abandoned and substandard properties where the owner has a history of non-compliance with the City's code enforcement efforts, or for emergency situations where real property presents an immediate threat to health and safety. 

“With the voter-approved Measure BB of December 2014, we laid a foundation to regulate and tax 20 medical cannabis collectives.  Since that time, we have been aggressively working towards putting an end to rogue dispensaries and their negative impacts on neighborhoods and local businesses,” stated Councilmember David Benavides who has previously served as a chair of the Public Safety Council Committee. 

Targeted enforcement began in early 2015 and since then, the number of illegal dispensaries has been reduced from more than 120 to 19 current documented cases.  Despite previous enforcement actions, the operators of these four illegal marijuana dispensaries have refused to comply with the City’s regulations and the property owners have refused to cooperate.   Violations include unpermitted electrical, mechanical, and ductwork; unpermitted partition walls; modifications to electrical panels, and unpaid fines.   

"We've shut down dozens of illegal marijuana shops near neighborhoods and schools over the last few years, but these last few just won't listen to the City. So we're taking our fight to the courts and asking them to put these shops into receivership," commented Councilmember Jose Solorio and current chair of the Public Safety, Code Enforcement and Neighborhood Empowerment Council Committee.  

“The continued existence of illegal marijuana dispensaries that operate in the City present significant challenges to the safety and quality of life in Santa Ana,” said Councilmember Villegas. “However, the City’s multi-pronged enforcement efforts have resulted in an 84% reduction of illegal dispensaries in our community since the adoption of Measure BB,” Villegas added.   

The City Council also approved receivership actions on other properties throughout the city due to nuisance conditions. 

Additional information, including a list of properties included in illegal dispensaries receivership action, is available in the staff report at:

City of Santa Ana
20 Civic Center Plaza
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 714-647-5200

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