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Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc. v. City of Upland (3/25/16, D069293)

In 2007, the City of Upland banned both fixed and mobile medical marijuana dispensaries from any zone within the City’s limits. Presumably this ban applied to mobile dispensaries delivering marijuana into the City from locations outside the City.  However, in 2013, the City adopted an additional ordinance expressly prohibiting deliveries by mobile dispensaries headquartered outside the City.  The Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc., challenged the 2013 ordinance, arguing the City was required to undertake a preliminary review of environmental impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act prior to its adoption.  The Union asserted that the ordinance had foreseeable environmental effects, including travel by residents seeking medical marijuana outside the City and increased electrical use, water consumption and waste due to higher levels of indoor marijuana cultivation.  The Court of Appeal found that, because the 2013 ordinance merely restated the 2007 ordinance, it did not constitute a “project” under CEQA and was therefore exempt from review.  Additionally, the environmental impacts cited by the Union were too speculative for the 2013 ordinance to be considered a project.
Continue Reading Challenge to Ordinance Prohibiting Mobile Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Goes Up in Smoke

Saltonstall v. City of Sacramento (11/20/14, C077031)

The NBA owns the right to acquire and relocate the Sacramento Kings if a new arena is not completed and open in downtown Sacramento by 2017.  The City and the Kings have targeted an October 2016 opening to avoid this outcome.  To facilitate construction, the California Legislature added Section 21168.6.6 to the Public Resources Code to provide for an expedited review of the arena project under the California Environmental Quality Act.  Several individuals sued the City and the Kings, challenging the constitutionality of the new provisions of the Public Resources Code, and moved for a preliminary injunction that would stay demolition of the existing shopping center.  The Court of Appeal denied the preliminary injunction, holding that the Legislature may limit the CEQA review process under its broad authority to make public policy determinations and amend existing laws.

Continue Reading Legislature Can Amend CEQA to Expedite Construction of Sacramento Kings Arena