Kern County weed wars: Board of Supervisors deny medical marijuana shop extension requests

Future uncertain for local medical marijuana shop as attorney files emergency extension request

The latest chapter of Kern County’s weed wars played out at Tuesday afternoon’s Board of Supervisors meeting. Attorneys representing six medical marijuana shops asked the board to grant extensions for each of the shops to remain open until 2020. But those who asked for the extensions got the opposite of what they wanted.

Attorney Gabriel A. Godinez went before the board of supervisors Tuesday afternoon with a request on behalf of his six clients. He asked supervisors to grant an extension for one additional year.

In 2018, members of the board voted to allow 29 grandfathered-in shops to operate until may 24 of this year, but Godinez said the six shops he represents needed more time to recoup $263,514 in funds due to what he called new regulations.

After hearing the extension request for West Coast Healing, the first of six shops appealing for an extension before the Board, Supervisor Zach Scrivner of the 2nd Supervisorial district said he did not believe an extension should be granted. He noted the shop already had enough time to recoup the funds. 

Scrivner pointed out the ban was implemented on Nov. 24, 2017, and said enough time had passed for the shop to recoup the expenses. He also noted the amount of money in question is much less than $263,514; he said the figure is closer to $5,000 because much of the dispensary improvements were spent after the ban was implemented.

“My line of thinking is $5,171.55 before the Nov. 24, 2017 ban date is such a small amount that there has been small amount for the applicant to recoup the investment for that one year since we’ve put the ban in place,” he said.

Scrivner then went a step further, putting forth a motion that the West Coast Healing shop should not be granted an extension, and must close within 10 days. The board voted unanimously to approve the motion. 

Godinez then withdrew the additional extension requests for the five other shops.

“It was a slap in the face,” he said. “The county takes the approach [that they] don’t want anything, [they] just want to push you away, and now we have problems.”

Godinez says he plans to take this decision to court, and will file an emergency extension request for the shop to remain open past Feb. 15.

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