SM COURTHOUSE — A Los Angeles Superior Court judge Tuesday dismissed a medical marijuana testing lab owner’s request that the court force City Hall to give the facility a business license.

The facility, called Golden State Collective Cannabis Laboratories, tests medical marijuana for potency and impurities like pesticides for medical marijuana dispensaries, a service required by cities like Los Angeles and Long Beach.

According to an order issued by the court, Golden State Collective owner Richard McDonald and his attorney Roger Diamond should not have filed suit until after they had been denied a business license from City Hall on appeal.

Furthermore, the facility sought a business license through the court on the basis that California state law permitted them to do so, despite the fact that the laws in question do not mention testing facilities by name.

“They lost on all of the major points that they raised in their lawsuit,” said Anthony Serritella, the deputy city attorney handling the case.

In Diamond’s view, the court’s decision was a matter of timing.

City Hall delayed granting the lab a license for over three months after McDonald turned in an application in December. During that time he decided to open up shop anyway. City Hall caught wind and ordered him to shut down. He then filed suit on March 16 in an attempt to force City Hall’s hand.

City Hall denied that application on March 21, at which point McDonald and his attorney had 10 days to appeal.

The appeal was filed on March 30, Diamond said.

According to the decision, Golden State Collective’s crew didn’t wait to be denied nor showed that their petition to City Hall was sure to fail. If Golden State Collective gets its business license through the normal appeals process, the whole lawsuit is moot, the court wrote.

“It’s hard to accept the claim that we sued too soon when the city took three months to act on the application,” Diamond said. “They were nit picking, and asking for more information. They wanted to know whether he had any kind of approval from the state or federal government to operate the lab to test medical marijuana.”

The federal government takes a dim view of medical marijuana, a substance that it holds to be illegal and a class one narcotic.

The judge also dismissed Diamond’s claim that the medical marijuana testing facility was an “authorized use” under two California state laws, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 and the Medical Marijuana Program Act.

The Compassionate Use Act was a voter-approved initiative that legalized marijuana for medical use. While it does authorize a person with a doctor’s recommendation to possess marijuana, nowhere does the law state that a testing facility is an acceptable use of that drug.

None of the case law cited by Diamond interprets either law as authorizing a medical marijuana facility, the court asserted, and in fact previous decisions from the California Court of Appeals have resisted attempts by pot advocates to widen the interpretation of the Compassionate Use Act.

After the court’s decision came down, a lawsuit claiming damages was filed with City Hall, Diamond said.

In the meantime, McDonald will have to appear before either a hearing officer or administrative judge to appeal the denial of the business license. He has voluntarily shut his business down pending the outcome of that appeal.

“He shut down because he doesn’t want to be arrested by the police and never got assurances from the city that they will allow this to go on,” Diamond said.

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