Claremont pot dispensary operator guilty of not having license

January 09, 2007

Associated Press, North County Times

POMONA, Calif. -- The operator of Claremont's medical marijuana dispensary was convicted of operating without a license.

Superior Court Judge Anthony M. Peters on Tuesday ordered Darrell Kruse, who represented himself in the nonjury hearing, to pay a $121 fine for the infraction.

The Kruse-operated dispensary -- which he calls Claremont All-Natural Nutrition Aids Buyers Information Service (CANNABIS) -- will remain open because the city didn't seek a court injunction to shut it down.

Claremont officials had hoped the guilty ruling would force Kruse to close down. Mayor Peter Yao said he had hoped the court "would shut him down and allow us to carefully plan out the whole process."

"This is definitely not something that we had planned on," the mayor said.

Kruse serves nearly 400 patients at the pot dispensary, which was opened unnoticed by the city on Sept. 15. Two weeks later, the City Council imposed a 45-day moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries because the city had been approached by several people who wished to open such an operation.

The city later extended its moratorium an additional 10.5 months and has the option of extending it one year further.

Once the moratorium expires, the council's options will range from banning the dispensaries completely to regulating a limited number in specific areas of the city, City Attorney Sonia Carvalho said.

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