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City continues bid to shut pot club

Submitted by on 1, May 18, 2009 – 5:50 amNo Comment

The City Council is slated to decide Tuesday night whether it will shutter the Purple Elephant medical marijuana dispensary, which opened on Webster Street in July and remains open until a decision is reached.

City officials have argued in two hearings the city has held on the matter that the dispensary’s owner, Luke Coleman, wasn’t honest about his plans when he filled out his business license application, on which he wrote that the Purple Elephant would be a “miscellaneous retail” outfit. And they’ve said that – and the fact that selling marijuana is illegal under federal law – is grounds for revoking the license.

An attorney for Coleman has said the city violated his due process rights because hearing officers in the cases to revoke his license were city employees. The first hearing was before then-Interim Finance Director Ann Marie Gallant; the-City Manager Debra Kurita and Mayor Beverly Johnson presided over the appeal of that decision.

In response to the dispensary’s opening and several other requests from people seeking to open medical marijuana dispensaries on the Island, the City Council adopted and then extended a moratorium on pot clubs through June 30, 2010 to give the city time to study the issue and create an ordinance to regulate the clubs.

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