Local governments have a traditional land use and police power to allow, restrict, limit, or exclude certain types of businesses. For example, they might ban strip clubs within 100 feet of a school. This inherent power is granted wide deference by the courts and local zoning regulations are ordinarily upheld unless they conflict with state laws.
Medical marijuana laws in California have been narrowly interpreted in a variety of contexts, from criminal cases to the present zoning case. The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 and the Medical Marijuana Program have created exceptions in criminal law for those cultivating, prescribed or prescribing marijuana, and have prevented the use of state nuisance actions to shut down marijuana dispensaries.