ANAHEIM (AP) — Anaheim is literally pulling the plug on pot shops that keep popping up despite a law forbidding the businesses.
Officials have used its operation of utilities to cut off water and power to dispensaries in the city that’s home to Disneyland, the Orange County Register reported Tuesday .
Nine shops closed last month and eight others will likely shut down by the end of the week, Anaheim spokeswoman Ruth Ruiz said. Another 11 will soon be ordered to close or lose their water and power.
“It’s worked so far, but if we find that they are still operating, then we will find a way to shut down these businesses,” Ruiz said.
State voters legalized medical marijuana 20 years ago, but the California Supreme Court ruled last year that cities can choose to forbid dispensaries. Anaheim banned the shops but that hasn’t kept them from doing business.
Councilwoman Kris Murray applauded the denial of water and power as a good first step but also wants the city attorney to penalize landlords who look the other way when renting property to pot shop owners.
Dispensaries can face criminal charges and fines up to $1,000 a day for operating in the city.
One resident said she was surprised by the strong whiff of marijuana when she entered what she thought was a traditional walk-in medical clinic that had opened in her neighborhood.
“I’m neutral on the idea of medical marijuana, but I don’t like seeing changes like this in my neighborhood,” Joelle Kuykendall said. “I’m really disappointed. I hope the city finds a way to fix this.”