San Diego Shutters 18 Illegal Dispensaries

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San Diego is continuing to crack down on dispensaries it deems illegal as the first licensed medical shop prepares to open in the city.

Officials have shut down 18 marijuana dispensaries this year, including one that tried to reopen multiple times in two weeks, according to news reports. About 250 unlicensed dispensaries have been shuttered since 2011.

The city attorney said she knows there are many unlicensed dispensaries in San Diego, and that she will seek monetary sanctions against those that are operating without a license or outside of zoning laws.

San Diego has struggled with illegal MMJ operations while trying to craft regulations governing the industry.

David Blair is set to open A Green Alternative, the city’s first fully licensed and legal dispensary, sometime in the next week. Officials approved his business in October, but an appeal by a drug prevention specialist delayed its opening.

The San Diego Planning Commission in January unanimously rejected the appeal.

Eventually, the city will allow up to four dispensaries in each council district, for a total of 30.