Judge dismisses citations, fines against pot dispensary in Phoenix

A Phoenix municipal judge has dismissed 33 citations issued against medical marijuana dispensary The Greenery for operating without a business license.

City of Phoenix Municipal Court Judge James A. Wickre dismissed the violations Thursday, he said.

According to Wickre's interpretation of the city's municipal code, The Greenery is exempt from the city's business license law based on the fact that the city is barred from issuing the dispensary a business license in the first place.

"Since there is federal law prohibiting the sale of marijuana, then the city is prohibited from licensing a business that sells marijuana," Wickre said. "To put it into context, the city couldn't give them a license to sell heroin, because it's violation of federal and state law to sell heroin."

Phoenix Mayor Jeff Bellah said the City Council will discuss the issue next week.

"I think the first thing we need to do is change that ordinance," Bellah said.

On top of the citations, the city had been fining The Greenery $100 a day for continuing its unlicensed operations, but those fines were also thrown out, Wickre said.

— Sam Wheeler

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