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Court showdown coming over Auburn pot dispensary

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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A medical marijuana collective’s attempt to fight the city of Auburn’s efforts to permanently close its downtown dispensary will have to wait a week for another court date. Sierra Patient and Caregiver Exchange closed its doors last month after a temporary restraining order requested by city attorneys was granted in Placer County Superior Court. A hearing – with the exchange requesting a hold on the restraining order and the city looking for a more-binding preliminary injunction – was to have been heard Tuesday in Roseville before Judge Colleen Nichols. The hearing on an order to show cause for a preliminary injunction was delayed a week until this coming Tuesday. It is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Aug. 16 in Department 32 at the Bill Santucci Justice Center. The dispensary at 750 Lincoln Way had opened in May. Exchange president Richard Miller said after the closure that he’s hoping a court challenge will allow the dispensary to return. City Attorney Mike Colantuono said that the civil court effort to close the dispensary was approved by the City Council based on a 2006 prohibition of marijuana dispensaries anywhere in the city. Miller said that state law allowing medicinal marijuana dispensaries for patients was approved in 1996 by California voters and should trump local regulations.