Los Angeles County won a temporary injunction Tuesday against an illegal cannabis dispensary in the unincorporated community of South Whittier near La Mirada.
The Plug La Mirada has been operating out of a former Conroy’s Flowers shop at 14203 Imperial Highway at Valley View Avenue since March, despite a county ban on all dispensaries in unincorporated areas, according to Supervisor Janice Hahn.
Hahn said the business has interfered with activities at La Mirada Masjid, a mosque located 150 feet away.
“This is an unlicensed, unlawful cannabis dispensary that has been operating in a community that doesn’t want it,” Hahn said, calling the legal injunction “the first step to getting this dispensary closed for good.”
The next step is for sheriff’s deputies to serve an order on the business to cease operations pending a trial, which is expected to take place later this year.
If the operators violate the order, they may face fines and possible jail time, according to Hahn.
Despite statewide legalization, the county has kept a blanket ban on all types of cannabis-related businesses in place while it decides on a regulatory framework that could include anything from a permanent ban to allowing cultivation and both medical and recreational dispensaries, or something in between.
In the meantime, the Board of Supervisors has moved to crack down on more than 80 businesses operating in defiance of the county ban. It has asked its lawyers to explore whether the board can lock out owners or shut off utilities in order to force closures.
To date, enforcement efforts have amounted to a game of “whack-a-mole,” with dispensaries opening up in new locations nearly as quickly as officials can shut them down.
“While shutting down unlicensed cannabis facilities has proven to be difficult, my office has made addressing this particular dispensary a priority because of its impact on the La Mirada Masjid,” Hahn said.