Can medical marijuana dispensaries continue operating without electricity and water? In Anaheim, California, the answer appears to be no.
The city, which banned dispensaries over a year ago, is taking the drastic step of cutting off utilities to businesses violating the ban.
The strategy is working: Nine dispensaries shut down last month and eight more are expected to by Friday, a city official said. Officials will order another 11 to close their doors or have their water and power shut off.
If that doesn’t work, the city may try even more aggressive tactics to exterminate the businesses.
Operating an MMJ dispensary in the city is already a criminal act, and operators could be fined up to $1,000 for every day they keep doing business. One city councilwoman has also suggested fines for property owners who rent out space to dispensaries and “look the other way.”
The situation in Anaheim is yet another illustration of the complications arising from California’s inability to craft regulations on the industry. There’s no state oversight of medical marijuana businesses, and local governments can issue rules as they see fit or ban dispensaries outright.