On February 4, 2013, Patient Med Aid opened a medical marijuana collective in Sunset Beach. They had already obtained a license from the Board of Equalization and were in the process of obtaining a license from the City of Huntington Beach which was in the process of annexing Sunset Beach, but the licensing process proved to be much more onerous than expected. Upon visiting the licensing department, they were told that, due to the nature of the business, they would need clearance from the City Attorney. So upstairs they went to the City Attorney's office. The City Attorney spent about 1/2 hour with Patient Med Aid explaining the legal problems with establishing a collective in Sunset Beach. Then she referred them to the Department of Planning and Building where they were told that since the Coastal Commission hadn't given their final approval on the annexation, they weren't issuing any business licenses for Sunset Beach. And that final approval could take many, many months.
Sensing that they were being stonewalled by the city bureaucrats, they opened anyway with their Board of Equalization permit hanging on the wall. The following week, the Code Inspector visited the collective and informed them that they were operating without a business permit and would be cited if they continued operating without the license. Then that evening, the Huntington Beach Police Department parked one of their cruisers in the parking space directly in front of the door to the collective. When they inquired about the cruiser, they were told that it was placed there to discourage drug dealing in the area. And it would remain there indefinitely. The following day, the two principle officers of the collective were cited for operating without a business permit.
After discovering that other businesses in Sunset Beach were receiving business licenses from the City of Huntington Beach, they decided to have Attorney Matthew Pappas negotiate with the City. A three hour discussion with the City Attorney and Matt Pappas resulted in a meeting between two city council members, the city attorney, the Patient Med Aid operating officers, Attorney Charles Schurter, and Steve Downing, President of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. After making little progress in the meeting and being told that the other council members didn't even want to talk to them, they decided to reopen on Wednesday, March 13 and let attorneys deal with the City. Expecting another visit from City Code Enforcement, they bought a box of doughnuts to offer in friendship to the Officers. Code Enforcement did arrive that afternoon and cited Marla and Sharon for $3,000 apiece. And they didn't even stop for doughnuts!