Aaron Sandusky, from Rancho Cucamonga, stands at the Bud Bar of G3 Holistic Inc. in Upland Friday November 4, 2011. Sandusky had all 3 of his medical marijuana despenceries (Moreno Valley and Colton), along with a warehouse in Ontario, raided and shutdown by federal and local officials. (Will Lester/Staff Photographer)

Marijuana clinics owner ‘in a pickle’
By Wes Woods II, Staff Writer
Created: 11/04/2011 06:49:25 PM PDT

Aaron Sandusky has had a rough week.

Sandusky, 41, has been trying to keep his medical marijuana dispensaries open in Upland, Moreno Valley and Colton.

On Tuesday, raids were conducted on the three dispensaries as well as his Rancho Cucamonga home and the Rialto home of his partner John Nuckolls.

On Wednesday, Sandusky, the president of G3 Holistic Inc., was involved in a 4th District Court of Appeal case in Riverside that could determine if Upland can legally ban his marijuana dispensary and ultimately set a precedent in the state for how cities and counties regulate marijuana dispensaries.

“I’m in a pickle,” said Sandusky, a former real estate agent, on Friday.

Sandusky said his father died of brain cancer when he was 8 years old and was raised by a single mother.

He attended Gladstone High School in Covina but he dropped out and did not graduate.

Sandusky, who is single with no children, said he later got his real estate license and eventually worked in Rancho Cucamonga for now-Assemblyman Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga.

In 2008, Sandusky’s life started to change when the booming real estate market went bust.

Soon thereafter, he received a recommendation for a medical marijuana card to fight gout when other medications didn’t work as well.

Sandusky decided to try his business hand at operating a medical marijuana dispensary after finding other facilities were not up to his standards.

“We put in our money to get started and got additional support from other members,” he said.

“It’s expensive to operate. Imagine talking to a landlord and saying you are a medical marijuana cooperative. In some cases, they try to double the rent because of the (negative) exposure to them.”

At Sandusky’s Ontario warehouse where the marijuana was grown, the electricity bill was $20,000 a month and workers would spent up to 13 hours a day to maintain the product.

“We have a lot of patients to provide for,” Sandusky said.

Sandusky estimated he made a salary of about $85,000 last year from running G3. His organization had 50 employees who no longer have employment or health insurance since the raids.

G3 Collective opened at Suite F4 at 1710 W. Foothill Blvd. in Upland in 2009 and closed in August 2010 after the city filed an injunction in West Valley Superior Court in Rancho Cucamonga.

During the closure, G3 opened another facility in Moreno Valley at 12276 Perris Blvd., Suite B. The landlord was the same as the Upland facility.

In 2011, G3 opened a facility at 1231 E. Washington St., Suite D in Colton.

Sandusky filed a stay against the Upland injunction and is appealing the city’s prohibitions of medical marijuana dispensaries in the court in Riverside.

A stay was granted on June 20, allowing the cooperative to operate until Sandusky’s appeal on Wednesday was heard. A decision is expected with 90 days.

Handcuffs at warehouse

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