On sale at Oceanside's Natures Leaf, to be shuttered Friday
While it may be getting easier for some marijuana dispensaries to stay open in San Diego, Halloween is the drop-dead date for one Oceanside storefront that has defied efforts to kill the business for almost a year.
Friday is curtains for Natures Leaf in Oceanside. After exhausting numerous legal challenges that stalled its closure, Oceanside city attorney John Mullen said on October 27 that he finally won the war to shutter Natures Leaf at 2525 South Vista Way.
“They finally threw in the towel.” Mullen said a key to finally getting Natures Leaf to agree to quit was by getting the store’s landlord involved. Mullen said he would not hesitate to go that route for any and all collectives that pop up in Oceanside in the future.
Natures Leaf owner George Sadler used different attorneys and various legal procedures to thwart its closure. It looked good for the store when the Oceanside Planning Commission voted 3-2 in May to let it stay open. However, in June, the Oceanside City Council voted 5-0 to reverse and overrule the planning commission and snuff out the business that opened in 2013.
Based on an agreement forged by the city, the owner of the business, and the landlord, Mullen says October 31 would be the latest day Natures Leaf could be open. The owner of the business, George Sadler, was not available for comment.
On October 27, a Natures Leaf employee who answered the phone said she knew nothing about the store’s closure.
While it is legal for medicinal marijuana to be sold commercially in California, the state supreme court ruled last year that each city could decide whether it would allow such businesses to be zoned within its boundaries. Most North County cities do not allow for pot dispensaries.
Natures Leaf's violations were treated not as a criminal issue enforced by police but as a zoning issue. The store is located on commercial property immediately southwest of where Highway 78 intersects with El Camino Real.
According to weedmaps.com, a new Oceanside dispensary named Chronic Pain Releaf opened October 24 at 218 San Diego Street in the Posole neighborhood just east of I-5. I asked city attorney Mullen what are the chances other dispensaries might have should they open in Oceanside.
“Zero,” he said.
He said he was unaware why another Oceanside weedmaps-advertised dispensary in the San Luis Rey Valley called Green Cross came and went.