Pubdate: Wed, 11 Aug 2010
Source: Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA)
Copyright: 2010 The Press-Enterprise Company
Author: Alicia Robinson


Riverside medical marijuana clinic operator Lanny Swerdlow continues
to maintain that the city made a mistake when it sought a court
injunction against him in May.

Not only did the city's filing name a business entity that doesn't
exist, but the city's use of the zoning code to ban all medical
marijuana facilities is unlawful, Swerdlow said Tuesday. His attorney,
Richard Ackerman, made similar arguments in a response to the city's
suit that was filed last week.

The city had requested an injunction to shut down a North Main Street
medical marijuana clinic where patients can seek a doctor's
recommendation and a nearby collective where patients can buy
marijuana. No court hearings are scheduled until November, and the
clinic and collective are open.

Swerdlow's response to the suit hinges on the difference between the
THCF Medical Clinic, which does not dispense marijuana, and the Inland
Empire Health and Wellness Center, a collective that is a few doors
away and does sell marijuana to members.

He works as a nurse at the clinic.

"They say that we're furnishing marijuana, which of course the medical
clinic is not doing," Swerdlow said. "They haven't done their homework."

The city's suit targeted the THCF Health and Wellness Center, which
Swerdlow said is a name officials decided early on not to use for the
collective. Swerdlow is also named as a defendant, along with the
collective's general manager, the property owners and management
company, and the bank that holds the property owners' mortgage.

According to court records, Ackerman also represents the collective's
general manager and the property manager. The bank has its own
attorney, and the property owners have not yet been served with the

Swerdlow also argues that because state law permits marijuana patients
to form collectives to obtain the drug, cities like Riverside can't
use zoning to ban collectives.

City Attorney Greg Priamos said in May that he considers the clinic
and collective as essentially one operation run by Swerdlow. He also
argued that dispensing marijuana violates the city zoning code. 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D