City revokes cannabis license while owner awaits formal appeal

The city is alleging that marijuana grown in one of the units in a building on West San Rafael Drive was done so illegally. The owner of the business, who has a license to cultivate cannabis at an adjoining unit, has denied the allegations.

The owner of both a marijuana retail store and a grow operation has had her cannabis license revoked, pending appeal of allegations she was illegally cultivating marijuana at a space adjacent to where she was licensed.

Joy Brown Meredith, who operates Joy of Life Wellness on West Oasis Road and a grow operation on nearby West San Rafael Drive, was informed of the decision on October 13, a letter from the city attorney obtained by The Post shows.

Meredith, who also owns the Crystal Fantasy retail store downtown, filed a six-page appeal on October 26. She said Wednesday that the Palm Springs City Council would consider her appeal, but she was not told when. Until the Council hears the appeal, however, her cannabis businesses remain shut.

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In the October 13 letter, an attorney representing the city alleges code enforcement officers, an investigator from the State Department of Cannabis Control, and patrol officers from the Palm Springs Police Department conducting an inspection at the West San Rafael Drive business on August 12 discovered evidence of marijuana cultivation in Unit 7 of the building. Meredith’s license covers only the adjacent Unit 6.

Code enforcement officers allege that video footage of activity in Unit 7, supplied by Meredith, shows employees “entering the cultivation area filled with plants,” then “cuts out and jumps ahead approximately 39 minutes, at which point the room has been cleared of all plants.”

Meredith told code enforcement staff on September 2 that she never gave permission to begin cultivation at Unit 7 and immediately took action to ban those responsible for the cultivation from the site. However, the city claims text messages and statements reviewed by officers show Meredith “was aware of, and directing the cultivation activities.”

The city is alleging two dozen violations of city and state laws governing cannabis activity.

In her appeal, Meredith not only denied the city’s allegations but said there was no requirement to suspend her cannabis license for a first alleged offense.

“[T]he disciplinary guidelines impose a range of potential penalties based on severity including monetary fines,” her attorney wrote. “There is no mandate for revocation or suspension when the purported violation was a first alleged offense without a prior warning or opportunity to cure.”

Her attorney also pointed to her standing in the community as a long-time business owner who has devoted her time to multiple organizations and causes, including 28 years as president of the city’s Main Street business association.

“Ms. Meredith is an upstanding member and pillar of the community and actively volunteers her time to various organizations,” he wrote.

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