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Sunset Beach’s medical marijuana shops got letters saying they need to close by Jan. 7 or face a misdemeanor charge, the Orange County Register reports.

There was confusion for some time among the dispensary owners over whether they could stay open. The county’s Board of Supervisors voted to ban the shops last month, but the ongoing annexation of the town into Huntington Beach left an impression that they might be allowed to continue their operations.

Huntington Beach City Attorney Jennifer McGrath had said that if the shops were approved by the county, they would be grandfathered in.

Voice of OC reported that the county ban meant the shops had more to fear from the county than the city of Huntington Beach. It turned out that land-use approval would not be transferred to the city until a California Coastal Commission approval, which could take up to a year, McGrath said at the time.

— ADAM ELMAHREK

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