COSTA MESA, Calif., March 18, 2011 – A medical-marijuana dispensary in Dana Point must pay more than $2.4 million in civil damages following a summary judgment won by attorneys at Rutan & Tucker, LLP, California’s largest full-service law firm based in Orange County.
Earlier this month, partner Patrick Muñoz, who serves as city attorney for Dana Point, along with associates Jennifer Farrell and Megan Garibaldi were victorious in Orange County Superior Court in a lawsuit that accused Beach Cities Collective of selling marijuana for nonmedical purposes. The precedent-setting penalty ordered by Judge William Monroe is predicated upon the maximum penalties that can be levied for violations of the State’s Health and Safety and Business and Professions codes.
Muñoz commented that the cases are not meant as an assault on the rights to use marijuana for medical purposes as outlined In Proposition 215. Rather, they were brought to abate illegal enterprises that ignore State laws pertaining to medical marijuana. The Court’s ruling was in essence a determination that the dispensary in question is an illegal, for profit retail sales outlet for marijuana. While State law decriminalizes certain collective efforts by qualified patients to cultivate marijuana for medical purposes, the law does not allow the retail, for profit, sale of marijuana, or the sale of marijuana to persons who are neither seriously ill nor using marijuana for medical purposes.
“We are pleased that Rutan attorneys have played such a pivotal role in this high-profile win,” said Hans Van Ligten, head of the firm’s Government and Regulatory Law Section.
About Rutan & Tucker LLP
Rutan & Tucker is California’s largest full-service law firm headquartered in Orange County, California with offices in Costa Mesa and Palo Alto. Primary practice areas include corporate and securities law, business and real estate litigation, labor and employment law, intellectual property, real estate, government and regulatory law, land use law, bankruptcy, condemnation and property valuation, environmental law, and taxation and estate planning. Detailed information about the firm is available at www.rutan.com.