Jul 102010

Two weeks after Fresno police moved to shut down a Tower District medical marijuana dispensary and evict the business from its Olive Avenue location, it was business as usual Friday, albeit one door down.

Police have repeatedly tried to shut down the Medmar clinic and operator Rick Morse has repeatedly been sent to jail for violating a judge’s court order that prohibits him from selling marijuana, the Fresno Bee reports.

Morse has engaged in a running battle with authorities since August 2009, when city officials sued Medmar and eight other dispensaries on the grounds that they violated a zoning ordinance that requires them to comply with state and federal law; the latter prohibits marijuana sales.

In the last week of June, sheriff’s deputies served Morse with a writ allowing authorities to take possession of the storefront housing Medmar at 210 E. Olive Ave. Morse contested the eviction unsuccessfully in a June 30 hearing.

That apparently didn’t settle the issue, however, as Medmar moved to the storefront next door.

On Friday, a person inside the store was quick to open the door and ask a passer-by if he was a patient. Marijuana plants were clearly visible inside the building and a pungent aroma wafted out to the street. The person inside said Morse still was operating the business before closing the door.

Rick Morse’s son, Brandon, then came outside but refused to say why Medmar continued to operate.

“Can’t talk to you, have a nice day,” he said, before closing the door. Contacted by telephone, Rick Morse also refused to discuss whether the business was in operation.

As for the next move by police, Chief Jerry Dyer would only say through spokesman Jeff Cardinale that investigators were looking into the issue.

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