Cannabis wrap: Berkeley, Sacramento, Oroville

Berkeley city officials are taking legal action against another medical cannabis collective for allegedly operating in violation of city rules.

Greenleaf Wellness Group was fined $13,500 for allegedly defying Berkeley’s medical cannabis ordinance by operating in a commercial zone, the Oakland Tribune reports. The city also declared the building an unsafe fire hazard and a public nuisance.

Greenleaf will go before the city’s Zoning Adjustment Board for a hearing on the alleged rules violation Dec. 20 and then on to the City Council, the Tribune reports. A move by the owner to rezone the property to residential, which would make the collective legal under Berkeley’s ordinance, goes before the Planning Commission on Wednesday. Only three collectives are authorized outside residential areas, and those licenses are taken.

Sacramento County supervisors to receive CSPARC petitions

Medical marijuana patients in Sacramento County were set to deliver more than 30,000 signatures to supervisors today in hopes of convincing them to allow a limited number of medical cannabis collective-dispensaries to reopen.

Symbolism aside, the petition signatures won’t result in a ballot measure challenging Sacramento County’s ban on medical cannabis outlets, the Sacramento Bee reports. That’s because the Committee for Safe Patient Access to Regulated Cannabis failed to meet a July 23 deadline to hand in 42,231 signatures of registered voters.

Suspect to stand trial for double murder at Butte County grow site

A Fontana man accused of killing two men at a Butte County marijuana-growing operation has been bound over for trial on two open counts of murder.

Joel Espinosa, the defendant, said in an interview that he shot the two men at the Magalia grow site, the Chico Enterprise-Record reports. In testimony at Monday’s preliminary hearing, sheriff’s deputy Mike Turenne said Espinosa claimed in the interview that he shot the two men because they had threatened to kill him and another man at the grow site.

At the end of the hearing, Judge Steven Howell ruled there was probable cause to hold Espinosa for trial on two open counts of murder for the deaths of Hector Carrero and Damian Shoreque-Gonzalez on June 7. Deputy District Attorney Jacque Devlin told Howell that prosecutors haven’t yet decided whether to seek the death penalty.

Espinosa’s defense attorney said he acted in self-defense, and that he had yet to hear the account of the shooting from the other man at the grow site. Another officer testified more than 20,000 cannabis plants were discovered there and at two other locations. No medical cannabis recommendations were found at the site.

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