Marijuana dispensaries in Fresno County to stay open

FRESNO, Calif.

Kirby was one of several /*medical marijuana*/ patients and advocates who urged the board to keep existing marijuana dispensaries open. Some board members were looking for a way to shut down the 15 dispensaries that have opened up in recent months, while coming up with rules to restrict, or ban them with zoning regulations. But, county employees had already advised some of the dispensaries their locations were okay. Attorney Brenda Linder, who represents four local dispensaries, told the board any effort to shut down the shops would be fought in court. "To shut down existing operations that were operating in good faith under direction of your county agencies and then to go through and shut them down I guarantee you there will be additional litigation."

Residents of the Tarpey Village area told the board the group of dispensaries in a shopping center on Clovis Avenue had brought in undesirables, and they demanded action.

Becky Ray claimed they attracted a "bad" crowd. "There's a lot more questionable looking people hanging around, loitering." She told the board.

Long time resident Fay Johnson said: "If these shops are not in here legally, lets get them shut down today."

But, that didn't' happen.

Instead, the board followed Supervisor Susan Anderson's recommendation: "What I would want to do is allow the ones that are open to stay open until we figure out what we're going to do."

Board members voted to allow the 15 shops to stay open, but banned new shops for two years while they come up with some regulations ... or, figure out how to follow the City of Fresno and do an outright ban on all of them.

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