Filing suit against the City of Dana Point, the City Council of the City of Dana Point and San Diego Gas & Electric, Beach Cities Collective and its owenr David Lambert is seeking $20,000,000 in damages for conspiracy, defamation and related claims. In its suit, Beach City Collective alleges that the city staff and council members “conspired in an extra-judicial crusade to prevent Beach Cities from legally supplying medical marijuana to their member patients.” The filing of the lawsuit is yet another battle in a war waged with by the City of Dana Point for the past two years as the City has attempted to confirm the legality of the operation of the dispensaries.
“”We have simply been trying to make sure that these dispensaries have been operating legally,” remarked a high ranking City official. “We just want to make sure that they are checking prescriptions and that the amount that they are dispensing is consistent with those prescriptions. We are not doing anything differently than making sure that a pharmacy is operating legally.” According to this City official, none of the dispensaries were willing to confirm that they were not selling marijuana without a prescription. “We were not trying to stop those with prescriptions from filling them, simply making sure that the marijuana was being dispensed with a prescription.”
In addtion to Beach Cities, the City shut down three collectives in January, claiming that they had building code violations. As reported in the Orange County Register, Beach Cities lawyer Jeffrey Schwartz said “This situation in Dana Point has transcended anything I’ve seen in medical marijuana law throughout the state.” As a part of the City closures of the dispensaries, Orange County Superior Court Judge William Monroe ordered Beach Cities to pay about $2,400,000 in civil damages in a judgment issued this March. That was the maximum civil penalty allowed for violations of health and safety codes as well as business and professions codes. Beach Cities has appealed that decision.