Dispensary to vacate downtown location

The pot club's director, Scott McPhail

The landlord of Purple Cross Rx, the embattled medical marijuana
dispensary in downtown Hollister, said his tenant plans to move out
of the building during the next few weeks.
The landlord of Purple Cross Rx, the embattled medical marijuana dispensary in downtown Hollister, said his tenant plans to move out of the building during the next few weeks.

“He’s looking for another suite in Hollister or San Jose,” said Greg Dolan, who owns the building at 335 San Benito St., where Scott McPhail opened the dispensary against the city’s wishes in December 2009. McPhail did not respond to phone and e-mail requests for an interview by press time.

The city council initially said its zoning rules did not allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate within the city limits and in January it adopted ordinances declaring dispensaries as a prohibited use. After that action, Dolan served a three-day eviction notice on McPhail and filed an “unlawful detainer” action in court to force Purple Cross to move.

McPhail ignored the eviction order and McPhail’s lawyer had the unlawful detainer thrown out on technicalities. The city then filed suit against McPhail and Dolan, hoping to get Purple Cross to move out of Hollister.

Word of the potential move of the dispensary “is news to us,” said Hollister City Attorney Stephanie Atigh on Monday.

The next scheduled step in the lawsuit is a case management conference on Aug. 4, at which time the city plans to seek a motion for summary judgment, meaning a trial would be avoided by having a judge make a ruling on undisputed facts.

“We feel we have a very strong case,” Atigh said. “There’s no dispute that what they’re doing there is distribution of marijuana, and no dispute that we have an ordinance in place saying they can’t do that in the city limits and that they’re creating a public nuisance.”

Asked if having Purple Cross move out of the city limits would lead the city to drop its lawsuit, Atigh was optimistic, though noncommittal.

“If they leave and they don’t reopen in the city, which is what we hope for, we would dismiss the case,” she said. “That would be one option, however. It would be up to the council to decide. We could go forward to get an order that they not reopen elsewhere (in Hollister).

See the full story in the Pinnacle.

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