Three months earlier, Dr. Alfonso Jimenez, a doctor who recommends marijuana, left town for new offices in Monarch Beach after being unable to obtain a business license in Laguna Beach.
The Laguna Beach Collective had relocated from Newport Beach in August, operating out of a Third Street location next to Laguna Beach Police headquarters, according to a young man at the recently closed dispensary who did not want to be identified.
The facility was open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., providing marijuana to people with a doctor's recommendation, allowing them to use the drug to alleviate pain or other medical conditions.
Two months ago, the dispensary moved to a quiet office above the 200 block of Forest Avenue.
The business had to close because it lacked a business license and a conditional-use permit, said John Pietig, Laguna Beach assistant city manager.
The dispensary, which was still open on Tuesday, consisted of a lobby with sofas and an inner room with a small pass-through window. No patients were present when a reporter visited.
A young man behind the window — who asked that his name not be used — confirmed that the facility was closing because of the lack of a business license and that no other location had been found for it in Laguna Beach.
Under California's 10-year-old Proposition 215, marijuana may be used with a doctor's authorization for medicinal purposes, but that law conflicts with federal anti-drug laws banning marijuana use completely.
Cities have taken various strategies to dealing with the medical marijuana issue, from permitting "cannabis clubs" to proliferate to totally outlawing them.
Last summer, Laguna Beach police expressed concerns to city officials about a cannabis cooperative in the city, which they say places them in a dilemma.