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October 5, 2012
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Marijuana dispensary fights closure

Although the former Third Street site of the City of Angels 2 medical marijuana collective sat shuttered Friday, the fight over the marijuana dispensary appears far from over.

On Wednesday, attorneys representing the collective filed suit against the South Lake Tahoe City Council and former City Manager Tony O'Rourke, challenging the city's July denial of a proposed relocation of the pot club.

Wednesday's petition for writ of mandate asks El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Steven Bailey to compel the city to vacate its July 3 vote denying approval of the move, and make the City Council issue a resolution approving its June 5 support for transferring the collective's operating permit to a new location.

In the filing, attorney and former City Councilman Ted Long argues the city's medical marijuana ordinances do not require the council to pass a formal resolution transferring a medical marijuana dispensary's permit to a new location, only that the ordinances require the City Council to approve the permit transfer at a public hearing.

On June 6, O'Rourke sent City of Angels written notification that the relocation had been approved, according to the suit.

Long, as well as City Attorney Patrick Enright, did not return requests for comment Friday.

The July 3 action by the council to deny the dispensary's move was "arbitrary and capricious" and amounted to a "defacto revocation" of the dispensary's permit, according to the suit.

The filing asks the court to compel the city to reinstate approval of the collective's phase one application under South Lake Tahoe's medical marijuana ordinances and give the collective 45 days to comply with the second phase of the dispensary application process.

Alternatively, the dispensary's owner, Gino DiMatteo should be given due process with proper notification of a proposed action to revoke or modify the City Council's June 5 action and provide DiMatteo "an adequate opportunity to be heard," according to the suit.

In August, DiMatteo was arrested and charged with felony counts of bribery, possession of marijuana for sale, possession of a controlled substance and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. He has pleaded not guilty.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Oct 5, 2012 08:30PM Published Oct 5, 2012 08:29PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.