By Andrea Papagianis
In a closed session meeting Tuesday, the City Council rejected a settlement offer from Holistic Health, a Dana Point marijuana dispensary that was shut down in 2011, City Attorney Patrick Munoz confirmed, but would not elaborate on details of the proposed deal.
“They made a settlement offer, we rejected it, and will continue moving forward with the case,” Munoz said. “But in light of the California Supreme Court’s recent ruling, we will be pursuing Holistic Health’s violations of city zoning codes at the upcoming trial.”
In a unanimous decision earlier this month, the state’s highest court gave local jurisdictions the authority to use zoning and land-use ordinances to ban marijuana dispensaries.
When the city began looking into area pot shops, officials alleged they were in violation of the city’s zoning ordinances, Munoz said. But, rather than pursuing that route of enforcement, the city questioned whether or not dispensaries were complying with state law, which bars marijuana dispensaries from operating as for-profit businesses, he said.
Holistic Health, along with other dispensaries, was red-tagged and shuttered in 2011. They city was awarded $2.68 million by an Orange County Superior Court judge in May of that year, but Garrison Williams, former owner of the dispensary, carried his case to the 4th District Court of Appeals, which ruled in his favor.
The appellate court found there were still facts to be tried and the case.
A trial setting hearing in Orange County Superior Court for Tuesday has been continued to Tuesday, June 11. Munoz said he anticipates the trial will likely be set for some time in August or September.