Riverside County church offers members marijuana, may have to close

A Riverside County church may have to close its doors after a judge ruled that it was operating as a dispensary.

The Vault Church of Open Faith in Jurupa Valley say that marijuana is part of how they practice their faith.

“That is our sacrament the same way the Catholics have wine and bread for their sacrament,” Cesar, one of the church’s ministers told ABC 7. Cesar did not tell the station his last name.

The Vault Church as seen on Google Maps

“City officials are not acting constitutional right now – them being the ones persecuting us instead of protecting our religious rights,” he said.

But Jurupa Valley city manager Gary Thompson says that what Vault Church is doing is illegal since voters approved a ban on commercial weed sales in the community in June.

“If they are a church they are a church, but they are also selling marijuana as a dispensary inside the church that is illegal under current city ordinances.” Thompson told the TV station.

The church is listed on Weedmaps, and lists products available for purchase, but Cesar said that it’s only so members can provide the minimum required donation or tithe for the sacrament.

The Vault Church listing on Weedmaps

Riverside Superior Court Judge Sunshine Sykes granted the lock-out order Wednesday on August, according to the Press Enterprise.

Thompson told the paper the city is working on a plan to shut down several dispensaries at the same time.