Marijuana dispensary to fight permit revocation
A second medical marijuana dispensary in South Lake Tahoe is facing closure after having its operating permit revoked last week.
The city revoked Patient to Patient Collective’s dispensary permit July 11 after making several unsuccessful attempts to get the medical marijuana dispensary to properly install a fire safety wall, Interim City Manager Nancy Kerry said Tuesday.
During a July 13 inspection, city officials also found the dispensary growing marijuana in an upstairs room at the property in violation of their permit, Kerry said.
Matt Triglia, the owner of the collective, said he has been in compliance with city rules for months and was never told that he was prohibited from growing upstairs at the dispensary’s location. Patient to Patient immediately filed an appeal to the permit revocation, Kerry said.
The City Council is scheduled to hear the appeal at its Aug. 7 meeting. The collective is allowed to continue operating until the appeal is heard, City Attorney Patrick Enright said.
City Councilman Hal Cole said that, although he supports giving patients access to medical marijuana, he is concerned with the seemingly high profits associated with the collectives and the possibility the city has “legalized drug dealing.”
Cole referenced a police report in which a Matthew John Triglia and an Erika French were stopped in a motor home with Nevada license plates in St. Charles, Mo., in December 2011. Authorities allegedly found two large duffel bags that smelled heavily of marijuana and an estimated $85,000 bundled in rubber bands and heat sealed in a plastic bag.
“The packaging method was very commonly associated with that of currency and narcotic smugglers,” according to the report.
The Matt Triglia named in the document was taken into custody following the traffic stop, according to the report. The outcome of the arrest is unknown.
Although the description of the couple involved in the December 2011 incident is similar to South Lake Tahoe dispensary owner Matt Triglia and his wife, Erika Triglia, the owner of the collective denied involvement in the incident Tuesday and told Cole he didn’t know what the councilman was talking about. He called the report “hearsay.”
“If that’s the case I’d be sitting in jail right now,” Triglia said.
Patient to Patient Collective is the second of three medical marijuana dispensaries in South Lake Tahoe to face closure after the council declined to approve a relocation of City of Angels 2 Collective earlier this month.
The council did not ratify the move after receiving a letter from South Shore narcotics officers alleging area collectives are involved in illegal marijuana trafficking.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the owner of City of Angels, Gino DiMatteo, said the city has violated his due process rights because he received an OK from former City Manager Tony O’Rourke to begin work on the new location in June, only to have the City Council deny the move the following month.
DiMatteo said he was a victim of “trail by ambush and guilty by innuendo,” and said the collective is “100 percent legal.”
The council did not take any formal action on its rules regarding medical marijuana Tuesday. Council members directed staff to continue enforcing the rules as written.