The Marin Medical Alliance, which was founded in 1990 as the Hemp Renaissance Council of West Marin and opened at 6 School Street in Fairfax in 1996, was forced to close over the weekend following an eviction notice from their landlord. The dispensary is one of several in Marin County being forced to close under the recent federal crackdown on the medical marijuana trade in California, and the "School Street" address is the best clue as to why the DOJ went after this particular law-abiding, two-decade-old cannabis club.

(The main focus of the crackdown in Northern California at least has been on dispensaries grandfathered in by cities even though they are less than 1,000 feet from a school or park. School Street in the case also runs right into Bolinas Park.)

Furthermore, founder and director Lynette Shaw, whom the Alliance credits with being "a major force in shaping California policy regarding medical marijuana," is severing ties with the dispensary in what appears to be an effort to keep prosecutors from further pursuing legal action if the dispensary reopens elsewhere. Shaw had been named in a district court order in 2002, along with the dispensary, enjoining them from distributing marijuana at the 6 School Street site.

On their website, the Marin Alliance says this is just a "temporary roadblock" and "the battle is not over." The Alliance is said to be the "oldest dispensary of its kind in the state," but we're not entirely clear what the "of its kind" is about.

Also closing as of January 1, as the Marin IJ reports, is the Marin Wellness Center in Kentfield, which is facing a similar eviction. Meanwhile the Green Door Wellness Education Center in Novato is fighting their eviction order, and they're awaiting a decision from a judge after a trial last week.

[Marin IJ]