11:09 PM PST on Wednesday, March 2, 2011

By JOHN F. HILL
The Press-Enterprise

A banned dispensary in Wildomar will be allowed to re-open after an appeals court ruling in an ongoing legal fight over access to medical marijuana.

Wildomar Patients Compassionate Group will open Monday, General Manager William Sump said, more than two months after it was closed by a court order.

The California Fourth District Court of Appeal on Tuesday issued a stay of a preliminary injunction that closed the collective in December.

Wildomar’s zoning codes do not allow medical marijuana facilities, which the collective is challenging in court.

Dispensaries are engaged in similar battles across the Inland area, where many cities and Riverside County have banned medical marijuana storefronts through land-use regulations.

Several dispensaries are open in violation of the bans, to which some other cities are taking a cautious approach.

In Temecula, for example, a self-described “therapeutic cannabis resource center” continues to operate despite a citywide ban on dispensaries. City officials have said they are monitoring the situation, but have declined to force the dispensary to close.

Medical marijuana activists argue that citywide bans violate state law, which provides for safe access for patients who have their doctors’ approval.

For almost a year, the Wildomar Patients Compassionate Group has fought to end Wildomar’s ban.

The dispensary originally opened in March 2010 in a building on Mission Trail. Sump, who also runs a dispensary in Riverside, told city officials he planned to open the Wildomar site in defiance of the city’s policy because he was convinced the prohibition violated state law.

The dispensary closed a few days later when asked to by city officials. For the next several months, Sump and a collection of Inland medical marijuana activists lobbied Wildomar’s City Council to change its rules to allow dispensaries.

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