The City of Pasadena, Los Angeles County, has effectively prohibited the establishment and operation of medical marijuana dispensaries when the Pasadena City Counsel passed Ordinance No. 7018 on September 12, 2005.  The Ordinance No. 7018 was titled, “ An Ordinance of the City of Pasadena Amending Title 17 of the Pasadena Municipal Code To Add a Definition For ‘Medical Marijuana Dispensary’ And Prohibiting Such Use.”  As a result, Section 17.80.020M of the Pasadena Municipal Code was amended to prohibit any facility or location engaged in the distribution of medical marijuana within the city limits of Pasadena.
By prohibiting any “facility” or “location” the Amendment to the Pasadena Municipal Code in effect prohibited the establishment of any cooperative or collective cultivation project, not just retail style medical marijuana dispensaries involved in sales of medical marijuana.  It appears that such a broad sweeping prohibition would violate the California state medical marijuana laws.  The Ordinance does not appear to have banned mobile medical marijuana collectives and cooperatives, however.  The Ordinance states the prohibition on medical marijuana dispensaries is a land use regulation.
In adopting the medical marijuana dispensary ban, the Pasadena City Council relied on the federal case Gonzales v. Raich that stated that distribution of marijuana even for medical use is a violation of federal law.
By adopting a short and simple amendment adding medical marijuana dispensaries as a prohibited use under its municipal zoning code, Pasadena has chosen perhaps the easiest method, procedurally speaking, to ban the establishment of dispensaries.  However, the extreme scope of the ban appears to have left it open to a possible future legal challenge by medical marijuana defense and land use attorneys.
The Pasadena ban on medical marijuana dispensaries was in effect as of August 2012.  For the current up-to-date information about the Pasadena medical marijuana dispensaries, please do not hesitate to contact one of our attorneys at our law firm.