Despite the fact that many medical marijuana patients rely on storefront collectives to provide them the medicine they need, numerous localities have banned them, explicitly or otherwise. The City of Anaheim took the rather extreme position of making it a crime to operate a medical marijuana dispensary in the city. One collective, Qualified Patients Association, sued and the case wound up in the court of appeal.

After ASA filed an amicus brief on behalf of the collective, several California cities and law enforcement associations chose to side with Anaheim in support of dispensary bans. Before the court ruled, additional briefing was requested and provided by Americans for Safe Access and State Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). In August 2010, the court published a 38-page decision, holding that federal law does not preempt California's medical marijuana laws as they relate to dispensaries. However, it still left open the question of whether state law (SB 420) preempts municipal ordinances that ban dispensaries.

On August 15, 2011, Orange County Superior Court Judge David Chafee issued an unpublished, non-binding trial decision in favor of Anaheim's ban on dispensaries.