City may delay decision to pull marijuana dispensary's license

February 16, 2006

K. Kaufmann, Desert Sun (CA)

A public hearing to revoke the business license of a medical marijuana dispensary on El Paseo slated for Thursday may be put on hold.

The Palm Desert Council was set to vote on whether to pull the license on CannaHelp, the dispensary at 73-350 El Paseo. The city issued the license to CannaHelp owner Stacy Hochanadel of Palm Springs last October.

But following meetings today with medical marijuana advocate Lanny Swerdlow of Palm Springs, city officials are now saying they will propose continuing the hearing - effectively shelving the revocation proposal - pending further research and meetings with Hochanadel.

"The residents of Palm Desert and businesses on El Paseo are not complaining, so what's the problem?" said Swerdlow, who heads the Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project, a patient support group. "There are concerns, (but they) don't need to be dealt with in a City Council meeting."

Council members decided to hold the public hearing on revocation at a closed session on Feb. 9. Hochanadel received notice of the hearing Feb. 10.

"Lanny's point was well taken," Mayor Jim Ferguson said of the proposed continuance. "(When there's a problem) you sit down and confer and try to work things out. I always feel further conversations are always good."

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