Refresh Checked Unchecked Menu Search Shopping bag Geolocation Person Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube Info Icon CBC Icon CBC Shape CBD Icon CBD Shape CBG Icon CBG Shape THC Icon THC Shape THCV Icon THCV Shape Loading…
Advertise on Leafly

Landlord Sues San Bernardino Over Cannabis Regulations

March 27, 2018
This Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, file photo provided by the San Bernardino Police Department shows a shut down marijuana operation of some 35,000 plants that police believe was bringing in millions of dollars a month. The woman who owns the operation, who claims to be California's largest landlord of marijuana businesses, has sued the city of San Bernardino for a law she says will create cannabis monopolies and could bar her from the industry. (San Bernardino Police Department via AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A woman who owns a business that claims to be California’s largest landlord of marijuana businesses sued the city of San Bernardino to overturn its cannabis regulation ordinance that could bar her from the industry.

Stephanie Smith, the owner of a business called Bubba Likes Tortillas, said in the lawsuit filed Friday in San Bernardino County Superior Court that the city’s new law could create monopolies and also prevent her from renting property to growers and other marijuana operations.

The dispute dates back to December when a fortified building Smith owns was raided, cultivation operations her clients were operating were shut down and 35,000 marijuana plants were seized. Smith was not involved with growing and she was not arrested or charged, her attorney Ben Eilenberg said.


This Map Reveals California’s Hidden Prohibition Problem

After the raids, a judge invalidated a voter-approved measure to regulate marijuana operations and San Bernardino City Council passed its own measure to replace it earlier this month.

The new rules said anyone — from a permit applicant or an employee of a cannabis business to the owner of a property — could be barred from the commercial cannabis business in the city if they had violated local or state laws related to the industry or if they had failed to report income from it.

“Any person who has ever had anything to do with cannabis is banned for life from entering the legal market under this ordinance.”
Stephanie Smith, Bubba Likes Tortillas

Smith is concerned that could apply to tenants — or even her company — because the businesses raided in December were in the process of being licensed, Eilenberg said. They received approval letters to operate a week after they were shut down, but the law appears to make them ineligible to get licenses.

“This misguided ordinance is a backdoor ban that continues the city’s illogical campaign against a legal product,” Smith said in a statement. “Any person who has ever had anything to do with cannabis is banned for life from entering the legal market under this ordinance. It is not what the voters want and it makes no sense.”

Eilenberg said it could also apply to businesses that operated in the murky days when medical marijuana was loosely regulated. Cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco have given priority to license businesses that operated under medical marijuana regulations to get into the broader retail market that opened Jan. 1.

“San Bernardino is taking the opposite tack and guaranteeing that anyone in the city who operated prior to this law has to remain in the black market,” Eilenberg said.


California Sends ‘Several Hundred’ Warning Letters to Unlicensed Cannabis Businesses

The lawsuit said the ordinance would violate the constitutional right to due process by disqualifying tenants or Smith without ever granting them an administrative or criminal hearing.

The lawsuit also claimed the city law could create monopolies of certain types of marijuana operating licenses.

The ordinance would allow 17 commercial marijuana businesses in the city, but there are 19 different types of licenses that could be issued — everything from growing cannabis, to transporting it, testing it and selling it.

A city spokeswoman did not immediately comment on the case.


Women Hold Fewer Than a Quarter of LA’s Cannabis Licenses

The Associated Press's Bio Image

The Associated Press

The AP is one of the world's largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering.

View The Associated Press's articles

  • DCBC

    I’m not talking about commercially but you don’t need a license or have to pay any extra tax to brew your own alcohol do you? Our countries only care about who’s at the top. The only reason the price of cannabis got to be high is because of the risk we’ve taken all these years to grow it illegally, now there’s no reason for that except for greedy and ignorant people standing in the way.

  • Wes Huntley

    Dosnt seem to help the pain of a knee replacement or a bad back. Others say it helps them. Any thing that helps others to avoid any pain should not be withheld from the public. As you all know Big Pharma is behind all this dissension including the Clintons.

  • Jeff Hudson

    San Bernardino politics = shameful