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Newport Beach to take legal action against marijuana clinics

June 01, 2011

Newport Beach officials have decided to take legal action, and possibly shut down, three medical marijuana clinics for alleged city code violations.

Last week, according to Newport Beach spokeswoman Tara Finnigan and meeting minutes, the City Council authorized staff during a closed session to begin so-called nuisance abatement proceedings against three clinics:

West Coast Cure (2814 W. Newport Blvd.), Nature's Alternative Solutions (3400 Irvine Ave., No. 117) and The Healing Tree (4120 Birch St.).

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The city's zoning code doesn't allow people to operate a facility that violates federal law, said City Atty. David Hunt.

"Nobody can engage in illegal practices," Hunt said. "It's in violation with the federal law, and we're just going to take that position."

West Coast Cure manager Jerett Wasserman said his store had yet to be notified about the city's action.

"They didn't even let us know," Wasserman said.

Wasserman said he hasn't yet heard any complaints from residents about the shop's presence in the area and has heard good things from neighbors. Wasserman said those neighbors felt the building housing West Coast Cure was a "party house" and a constant noise disturbance before his business set up shop in it.

Now because of regular store hours, the noise has decreased in the area, Wasserman said.

"No one is loitering outside. We do everything by the book," Wasserman said. "We're trying to abide by laws … but we're not going to leave. We're here to fight for our patients."

—Lauren Williams and Mike Reicher

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