By Jacob Wilson/Garden Grove Journal
It’s two-for-one week in Westminster.
The Westminster City Council will hold two separate business license appeal hearings on essentially the same issue during its meeting on April 14. That issue is whether medical marijuana can be bought and sold in the city of Westminster.
The Alternative Therapy Patients Association and the Golden State Patients Association will ask the council to reverse recent decisions by the city to deny business licenses to each association. The council is expected to uphold the denials.
In January, each group applied for a business license for the purpose of selling medical marijuana. The city denied the applications on the basis that as medical marijuana dispensaries the associations would violate city law.
Westminster Municipal Code Section 17.06.060 states that “no land, building, structure or premises shall be permitted to be used for any purpose prohibited by federal, state or local law or that would be in conflict with the Constitution or laws of California or the United States.”
Limited medical marijuana use and cultivation is legal under California law but all marijuana use, cultivation and trafficking remains illegal under federal law. Both associations appealed to the city manager’s office. Westminster city manager Donald Lamm confirmed the denials on January 27.
Both the ATPA and the GSPA had begun operating in December but the city ordered them to shut down. The associations had been operating without a business license and since the associations were selling marijuana, even for medical purposes, they were in violation of Westminster’s municipal code.
Aside from their chosen product, the associations do not appear to be related. Robert Herbst is listed as the president of the ATPA. Peter Giron is the GSPA’s president.
Westminster City Council meetings run too late for the Journal’s print deadline. A full report of the meeting, including vote results, will be available at www.ggjournal.com on Thursday. A full story will also appear in next week’s print edition of the Garden Grove Journal.