Tulare medical marijuana companies may shut down

TULARE, Calif.

County officials say medical marijuana collectives like this one are attracting crime and they want them to close. The people who work here say they're providing a necessary service for people who are sick.

Advocates of medical marijuana say a service that's legal in California could be banned in Tulare County. That's because the Tulare County Board of Supervisors is expected to approve a moratorium on all medical marijuana collectives, cooperatives and dispensaries in the county.

Weston Fox of Compassionate Cannabis Information Center said, "Obviously I think it'd be a tremendous disservice to everyone who depends on us."

The Goshen Medical Marijuana Collective could be one of several medical marijuana businesses shut down. Tulare county supervisors say this moratorium is "urgent" they argue places like this attract crime.

In 2010 nearly one-third of all homicides the sheriff's office investigated were related to medical marijuana.

Phil Cox, Tulare County Supervisor said, "we're looking at those that are working under the guise of a collective they'll call themselves a collective and the marijuana is going out of state and that's not a collective for personal use."

Though the compassionate cannabis information center was victim of an armed robbery last April the collective says they've added cameras and other safety measures to deter crime.

They say they serve numerous cancer patients who depend on them to feel better. Employees insist their collective is following the county's current ordinance and receives regular check-ups by the county.

"we've been paying taxes religiously on everything we're trying to just stay in the guidelines and we have been they've moved u s a couple times now but we're just trying to do everything that we can," Fox said.

Currently the California Supreme Court is looking at several small cases to determine if counties can impose moratoriums. Local agencies and medical marijuana collectives disagree on whether a moratorium follows state guidelines for the compassionate use act.

If supervisors approve the moratorium tomorrow they will begin shutting down collectives immediately.

Then in 45 days supervisors will determine whether or not they should extend the moratorium to a longer period of time.

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