Medical marijuana dispensaries on Manchester Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard are operating illegally, city alleges

By Gary Walker

The owners of two medical marijuana clinics in Westchester will be in court this month facing criminal misdemeanor charges that those dispensaries are operating illegally, according to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office.

Clean Green LAX at 8338 Lincoln Blvd. and Green Cross LAX at 5593 W. Manchester Ave. are not among the 135 marijuana dispensaries that were grandfathered into legal status under the 2013 city ballot measure Proposition D, city attorney’s office spokesman Rob Wilcox said. The law capped the number of legal clinics and imposed new zoning and land-use requirements on existing operators.

Clean Green LAX owner William David Bannon and Green Cross LAX owners David Shin Killman and Tina Jo Jackson are accused of violating Proposition D as well as city zoning laws, Wilcox said. They are set to stand trial on July 15 in downtown Los Angeles.

Helena Yon Kim and Peter Kyoung Kim, owners of the building that houses Green Cross LAX, also face misdemeanor charges, Wilcox said.

Calls to Clean Green LAX and Green Cross LAX were not returned.

Clean Green LAX has been the subject of complaints from business and neighborhood leaders in Westchester. On Feb. 4, the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer requesting an investigation of the business.

“As a chamber of commerce, it is important to our members that businesses all operate by the same rules and regulations,” chamber President Christina Davis wrote. “This illegal business is located in a major thoroughfare … and, therefore, should have closed their doors, but despite the current law, they continue to remain open.”

Davis went on to say that the chamber is “not opposed to legally operating institutions, but when businesses blatantly thwart the law, we expect enforcement to be an immediate next step.”

Feuer’s office has filed 128 criminal charges against cannabis shops since he became city attorney last July. Last year the city attorney’s office invoked Proposition D to shutter five Westside dispensaries: Venice Compassionate Holistic Therapy on Inglewood Boulevard in Mar Vista, a branch of the Farmacy chain on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Cal Med Access on Washington Boulevard, Tamer El Shaikhs on Pacific Avenue and California Healing Gardens on Lincoln Boulevard.

The charges against the operators of the two Westchester medical marijuana dispensaries come a week after an attempted robbery at a third dispensary in Westchester resulted in a fatal shooting.

According to police, two men tried to rob Nature’s Cure Inc. at 5300 Century Blvd., near LAX, at around 12:15 p.m. on June 25.

“There was an exchange of gunfire between the suspect and a security guard [at the dispensary] and the suspect was killed,” LAPD officer Norma Herrera said.

A second suspect who fled the scene was still at large this week.

The shooting marked the first time this year that a medical marijuana dispensary within the LAPD Pacific Division’s territory has had an attempted robbery.

“However, there have been some in other divisions,” said Pacific Division Lt. David Crew.

“There have been no other problems,” Crew said, at Nature’s Cure Inc. during his two years at the division, which patrols Westchester, Venice, Del Rey, Playa del Rey and Mar Vista.

Wilcox said Nature’s Cure “potentially qualifies for limited immunity” to operate under Proposition D.

Last week’s shooting at Nature’s Cure was the third death to occur during an attempted robbery of a medical marijuana clinic in Southern California this year. In April, an armed security guard at a San Diego dispensary shot and killed one of three men who attempted to rob it. In May, a man was fatally shot in a botched robbery outside a Koreatown dispensary.

gary(at)argonautnews.com

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