A former Morgan Hill mayor and the director of a medical
marijuana shop in Gilroy reached a settlement just before their
dispute over rent payments was scheduled to be heard in
A former Morgan Hill mayor and the director of a medical marijuana shop in Gilroy reached a settlement just before their dispute over rent payments was scheduled to be heard in small-claims court.
MediLeaf Medical Cannabis Collective Director Batzi Kuburovich and the collective’s former landlord John and Toni Sorci agreed that the couple will pay MediLeaf $3,500.
In his initial claim to small-claims court, Kuburovich sought $5,000 in reimbursement for rent payments that were never honored.
They were able to reach the settlement Tuesday morning at the South County Courthouse because both parties are “reasonable people,” Kuburovich said.
“I don’t want to fight. I just want to help sick people,” Kuburovich said outside the courtroom following Santa Clara County Commissioner Gregory Saldivar’s acceptance of the settlement.
The Sorcis own a building in Gilroy, at 7581 Monterey St., that MediLeaf planned to lease. MediLeaf signed an agreement with John Sorci June 1, 2009, to begin leasing space in the building starting Sept. 1, 2009. However, the city granted a business license to Dollar Store and More for the same location that August, according to Kuburovich.
MediLeaf never occupied the building, and MediLeaf representatives only had one meeting there, he said.
John Sorci, who served as mayor of Morgan Hill in 1990, could not attend Tuesday’s hearing due to recent medical issues. He was represented by his wife.
Kuburovich said Tuesday morning was the first time he met Toni Sorci, who he described as “a wonderful woman.” In his previous dealings he worked with their son Sal, he said.
Sal Sorci has previously said that MediLeaf backed out of the lease agreement, and that’s why he allowed the dollar store to move in.
“Had I met (Toni Sorci) six months ago this (court claim) would never have happened,” Kuburovich said.
Toni Sorci declined to comment on the settlement following the hearing.
MediLeaf has operated in Gilroy for more than eight months. The collective has been the target of legal complaints by the city of Gilroy, which has spent more than $100,000 thus far trying to close the business down for operating without a license.
MediLeaf and the city are currently waiting on a ruling in the latest court action, in which the city is seeking a summary judgment. A preliminary injunction to keep the collective from opening filed last year after the city council failed to pass an ordinance regulating such facilities, was denied.
A hearing on the city’s request for a summary judgment was held by Judge Kevin McKenney July 1, and a ruling is expected any day.
The cannabis club sells more than 20 varieties of pot. Its directors claim more than 4,000 members.