City Closes Two Illegal Marijuana Dispensaries in the City
The City of Vista has now caused the closure of two additional illegal marijuana dispensaries, the Green Gopher and Tri-City Emerald Collective. In connection with these closures, five dispensary operators, the landlord, and a Limited Liability Company each plead guilty to violating Penal Code Section 373a which prohibits maintaining a criminal public nuisance. Each individual will be on probation to the court for three years, has paid either a $500 or $1,000 fine, and is subject to numerous additional conditions of probation.
The City Attorney/City Prosecutor’s office has now forced the closure of 40 illegal dispensaries and three illegal marijuana cultivation operations. The office first seeks voluntary closure by the operators and landlords. When those efforts fail, criminal or civil prosecutions follow.
Medical marijuana cultivation and dispensaries are prohibited throughout the City under the Vista Development Code (Section 18.06.107 and related sections). The City of Vista regularly receive complaints from residents and local businesses about the nuisances these operations create. Although these businesses typically claim to be operating legally under state law, those same state laws permit local jurisdictions to prohibit them just as Vista has done.
Illegal marijuana businesses have been "waging war" against the City of Vista for several years by continuously opening new illegal storefronts and grows. They typically attempt to conceal their locations and activities, and often violate building and fire codes as well. The City has taken a strong stance against these marijuana businesses and will continue to actively criminally and civilly prosecute these scofflaws who refuse to follow its ordinances.
City of Vista Attorney's Office