In 2010, Mammoth Lakes voters said yes to medical marijuana co-operatives in town. In 2012, a federal crackdown led to the closure of one of Mammoth’s two co-ops. Now, the police chief reports that the status of medical marijuana has turned into a temporary moratorium.
Mammoth Police Chief Dan Watson stood up at Wednesday night’s Town Council meting to update the Council and public on medical marijuana. Watson reviewed the process that led to establishment of two dispensaries in Mammoth. He repeated the news that when it came time for the co-ops to renew their permits, one of them didn’t. Green Mammoth closed its doors. Owner Steve Klassen had expressed concerns for the considerable crack down on marijuana dispensaries by U.S. Attorneys.
Chief Watson said that the Community Development Department and the Police Department have been approached by two parties to take over the vacant permit. The Chief said that for a number of reasons, there is now a temporary moratorium on co-ops in Mammoth.
Chief Watson said state medical marijuana laws are in flux and “a number of things could change.” He named three cases pending, including one on the Long Beach marijuana ordinance which, Watson said, is similar to Mammoth’s. The fact that the U.S. Attorney’s office has stepped up its examination of California’s medical marijuana situation could also impact things statewide.
Watson said the federal lawyers are focusing on large scale operations, but what they do could change things for all. The Chief added that California Attorney General Kamala Harris has also said she will issue no new medical marijuana guidelines but will leave the issue to the courts or legislature.
So, Mammoth still has one permitted co-op, Mammoth Wellness, where, the Chief said, those with cards can get what they need. For now, that’s all Mammoth will have.