City of Chula Vista fighting to close illegal medical marijuana dispensaries

2 pot shops opened within 2 blocks of school

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - Two new shops in Chula Vista have local parents up in arms.

Recently, two medical marijuana dispensaries opened up in the same strip mall less than two blocks away from Feaster Charter School and a neighborhood.

One angry parent called 10News to ask us to look into how the stores were in business.  She was too afraid to be interviewed on camera.

The stores were a bit of a surprise to parents, neighbors and the city, especially since the Chula Vista City Council outlawed pot shops in 2011. However, medical marijuana is legal in California.

City Attorney Glen Googins issued the following statement to 10News:

"Medical marijuana dispensaries are prohibited from operating in Chula Vista pursuant to Chapter 5.66 of the Chula Vista Municipal Code. We are currently aware of two such operations. They have both been issued Cease and Desist letters and Notices of Violation. For so long as this remains the law in Chula Vista, the City Attorney's Office will continue to work with City Code Enforcement officials to seek closure of these unlawful operations."

Attorney Lance Rogers represents the Natures Leaf Collective on Broadway. He said he has had cordial conversation with the city about the future of the dispensaries. The other one is called the Chula Vista Patient's Association. Neither dispensary has outward signage and no one can see inside the stores.

Rogers said it is a constitutional issue for Chula Vista residents.

"Where are residents supposed to get their medical marijuana? Where are their rights?" Rogers asked during a phone conversation with 10News reporter Joe Little.

The Chula Vista Elementary School District, which oversees Feaster Charter, issued this statement:

"We certainly share the community's concerns. These kinds of establishments raise several red flags, especially when you consider that they are operating in proximity to one of our elementary schools. We certainly support the City of Chula Vista in its attempt to address this through the civil process via City Code Enforcement."

Chula Vista police are not investigating because it is a city code issue.

"I want the city to move them out," said Gary Warner, who owns a home just down the street from the dispensaries.

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