Arguments have begun in the state’s highest court over municipal bans of medicinal marijuana operations. An eventual ruling by the Court could drastically impact the piecemeal zoning and operational regulation of pot shops throughout the state.

Currently, 20 counties and more than 175 cities have passed bans of retail marijuana businesses – bans that supporters of Prop 215 say violate state law. Either way the Supreme Court rules, the high-court opinion could give guidance to local trial courts as more of these cases come forward.

Proponents of medicinal marijuana worry that if the Court upholds the rights of cities to ban the collectives all together, more cities will. Without legal, non-profit collectives, users of medical marijuana would have to turn to criminal pot dealers instead of controlled, regulated collectives.

Medicinal marijuana has been subject to a litany of lawsuits since Prop 215 was approved in 1996. In this case, the lawsuit stems from an order by Riverside Official issued to a dispensary in 2009. They informed the operators that such businesses were banned. In 2010, the City filed for an injunction to force the dispensary to close. The City has won all appeals since.

Read the full article at the Los Angeles Daily News.