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Banning Trying to Stop Marijuana Dispensary

City Manager Andy Takata said residents and council members brought the shop to the attention of city staff.

Banning city officials are using code enforcement to shutter a new marijuana dispensary that opened on West Ramsey Street.

"The OG Grasshopper" is in violation of a city ordinance and federal law and also is illegal because its owners did not acquire a business license or sign permit, officials said Thursday.

Officials stressed the dispensary never received permits to operate; rather, they moved in and began operations without going through the necessary approval steps.

“Citizens and Council Members brought this illegal activity to the attention of City Staff and the City Attorney and we have been working to get this ‘business’ removed from the community," city manager Andy Takata said.  "While the dispensary operations are illegal under Federal law, the problem recently has been with conflicting State Law which allows medical use and growing of small amounts of marijuana.”

Banning Community Development Director Zai Abu Bakar told Banning-Beaumont Patch that the city first got word of the business on May 29.  It's not clear when they moved in, since they never got permitted, she said.

City inspectors went out to the location shortly thereafter, and found "unsafe electrical connections to all the buildings on the property," according to Abu Bakar.

It was those violations, which posed an “immediate threat to life and property,” that gave the city the technicality it needed to get the tenant out right away, on June 12.  

“The electrical hazard was the reason we had to make everyone vacate the buildings,” Abu Bakar said. 

Owners of the shop have also opened stores in Beaumont and Palm Springs, according to Takata, who added that the Banning council prohibited medical marijuana facilities "years ago."

It's not clear if The OG Grasshopper will try to reopen this Banning business with permits and repaired electrical wiring.

sherman keeloid July 24, 2012 at 06:05 PM
notice for years drug dealers in banning have are making so much money off of alot of people, law enforcement, does not try hard enough to fight this conflict, of course they will fight a biusness that is not against the law and is not hurting any one in banning at all, my opinion is stop worrying about the OG grasshopper and get these drugs out of the schools in banning, teenagers even children in the middle schools here are smoking doing drugs, it has to stop. i am a patient at the OG grasshopper and i get turned around if i have no identification or even my records from my physician, i suffer from chronic heart failure the i quit my smoking i went on to other resources like brownies or cereal bars because the smoke is too much, the THC in my system is the greatest feeling ever. but look at alot of other places doing illegal activities officers and undercovers, open your eyes, focus on more important things hurting this city. we will change this community, we need to xome together as a youth and fight the council, Vote for Adam Buchanan for banning city council, we need a change in this city. he will fight to clean up out neighbor hoods, and actually pay attention to what we as a youth have to say. so if your not registered to vote do so, and vote for Adam Buchanan.
Stephanie Mitchell Sawyer July 24, 2012 at 06:14 PM
sherman i agree with you 100%. we need to focus ion our youth and communtity as a whole not just in part./
ATC July 24, 2012 at 09:47 PM
OK, Sherman…First, I’d suggest that you wait until you come down from your high before you post on a public forum. Perhaps then your post would have fewer problems with grammar, spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, etc. Second, while medical marijuana provides benefits for some ailments, I’m not sure what it does for “chronic heart failure”, nor why a young person such as yourself would be afflicted with it. Of course, I’m sure that THC in your system is “the greatest feeling ever”…most recreational users would agree with you. As for Adam Buchanan; I hope that he would also enforce city code regarding the proper way to open and run a business in the city. I remind you that the issue was not what this business WAS, but rather HOW they went about it. No business license, no inspections, no sign permit, unsafe electrical connections posing an immediate threat to public safety…if you are suggesting that Adam would look the other way in this type of situation, then that would be a pretty good argument AGAINST electing him as a council member, wouldn't you say?
Mariana Zuelsdorf July 24, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Thank you, Gary, for saying what I was thinking! I don't know who Adam is, but after Sherman's post, I'll pay close attention to Adam Buchanan's platform. There are several different schools of thought on Pot for 'chronic heart failure'. One is that it might help but the other is that it does more damage to the heart and vessels. I'm assuming that Sherman has congestive heart failure, which can be treated with some success, but we all know what 'assume' does. Pot makes him feel 'good' but I hope he is taking other meds as well.
Eduardo Rivera March 22, 2013 at 07:52 PM
It is no wonder why California, as a whole, is FAILING. The dummy's elected to serve the people, and there collecting their respective payroll checks, self serving each others little agenda, and placating their jobs until their retirement. After which this city will be paying them for the rest of their worthless little lives. For Businesses to survive, and thrive, they first need the support of the city. If a business is not worthy of being in the city. allow the residents of that city dictate this by not patronizing the business. Has the city thought about the potential law suit that will be filed if another similar business is allowed within it's city limits. The can of worms you have opened is large. DRUG DEALERS COMING IN TO SUPPLY. EXPOSING THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY TO UNLAWFUL ACTIVITY. LAW SUIT FROM EVICTED TENANT. LESS NEEDED TAXED COLLECTED... What we need to do is open up the closets of the decision making individuals and see what makes them so paranoid. In this day and age, be careful how and where we step. The whole world is watching.

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