Medical Marijuana Collectives Sue City of Los Angeles Over Proposition D Enforcement for Compensation

November 19, 2014 at 9:35 pm | Blog | No comment


Los Angeles, California. Four Medical Marijuana Collectives filed lawsuits against the City of Los Angeles alleging that the City’s enforcement of Proposition D deprives them of their property without just compensation, and is a “taking” or “Inverse Condemnation” by the City. The four Collectives are: Victory Holistic Care, Inc., California Natural Patients Collective, Inc., Venezia Discount Collective, Inc., and Valley Patients Group, Inc. All four Collectives are located within the City of Los Angeles, and seek compensation ranging from $730,000 to $1.4 million.

The four collectives are represented by Attorney Mieke ter Poorten of Santa Monica, and the law firm of Hobson Bernardino + Davis LLP of Los Angeles. One of the attorneys, Rafael Bernardino, Jr., was formerly Police Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles.

The lawsuits allege that all of the Collectives received permission from the City of Los Angeles to operate their Medical Marijuana Collectives when they applied for, and were given, Business Tax Registration Certificates and paid City taxes in the thousands of tax dollars. The City of Los Angeles does not issue business licenses. Lead counsel, Mieke ter Poorten stated, “Each of these Collectives provides reasonably priced, safe and laboratory tested/certified Medical Marijuana to people in need of such medical therapy—a valuable service to the community.”

According to Ms. ter Poorten, “Los Angeles has the right to take a person’s property for a public purpose. However, under the United States and California Constitutions, Los Angeles can do so only if it pays just compensation. The lawsuits do not seek anything more than just compensation for the taking of the Collectives’ business and property.”

The complaints further allege that Proposition D—the City of Los Angeles regulation that bars any Medical Marijuana Collective that was not in business prior to 2007—failed to inform the voters that the City would be liable for the loss of the banned Collectives’ property. Said Ms. ter Poorten, “In a demonstration of either arrogance or poor practice, neither Proposition D nor the Voters’ Guide discussed what would happen to the approximate 1,600 dispensaries that would not meet Proposition D’s requirements. The issue of ‘taking’ or ‘Inverse Condemnation’ was not raised by either the Los Angeles City Attorney in drafting and/or reviewing the Proposition D Ballot Initiative, the Los Angeles City Council in debate, or by any other member of the [Los Angeles] City government; nor was such issue of ‘taking’ or ‘Inverse Condemnation’ disclosed to [Los Angeles] voters in the authorized Voters Guide.”

Contact: Mieke ter Poorten

Phone: (310) 399-3259


Office: 2115 Main Street, Santa Monica, California 90405

Contact: Rafael Bernardino, Jr.

Phone: (213) 235-9197


Office: 725 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, California 90017

Hobson Bernardino + Davis LLP,, is an “AV-Preeminent” law firm with an unwavering commitment to its clients and community, and is among California’s most unique and respected boutique law firms. HB+D provides the highest level of litigation and business legal services without the unnecessary formality and expense of traditional firms. HB+D also was the first law firm in Los Angeles County to be certified as a “B Corp” by the nonprofit B Lab by meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.



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