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County Moves To Shut Medical Pot Shop

POSTED April 30, 2015 9:58 a.m.
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Stating that Kiona’s Farm’acy, just outside the Oakdale city limits, falsified its business license application and calling it a “marijuana dispensary,” the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday, April 21 to file a lawsuit to close down the business.

The county issued Kiona’s a business license in August 2012. The license states the business activities were “social services/retail” and specifically stated it was “not a dispensary.”

Although Proposition 215 legalized medicinal marijuana in 1996, Stanislaus County prohibits medicinal cannabis/marijuana dispensaries in the unincorporated areas of the county.

Possession for personal use of marijuana was effectively decriminalized in 2010 when it was made an infraction offense with a $100 fine.

Last year The Leader featured Kiona’s Farm’acy, located at 7450 River Road which then defined itself as “a holistic health center and natural food farm’acy.”

As a “holistic health practitioner,” the center’s manager Susan Syren said it was a co-op with over 320 herbs available for culinary, medicinal, and spiritual purposes as well as vegan, gluten free foods and other natural health products.

Syren also stated that upon a recommendation from a licensed physician, it also provided medicinal marijuana.

“We’re a holistic center, not a cannabis club or dispensary,” Syren said at the time. “Cannabis is an herb that goes within that fundamental.”

The lawsuit, filed April 9 but still needing Board approval, claims that since the business license was erroneous, it is no longer operating with a valid license. The county also seeks to obtain a court order directing Kiona’s Farm’acy to close its doors.

The county lawsuit names as defendants the Kiona Foundation Inc., Lakisha Katerris Jenkins and Floria and Farzin Firoosmand, owners of the shopping center where the Kiona Farm’acy is located. The lawsuit stated that the center operated the marijuana dispensary with the approval of the River Road Plaza shopping center owners.

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