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Gov. Jerry Brown gives cities power over pot shops

August 31, 2011 |  1:00 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown stepped in the middle of a dispute over the proliferation of medical marijuana dispensaries, signing a law Wednesday that gives Los Angeles and other cities clear authority to restrict their location and operation.

Brown signed AB 1300, which was introduced by Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield (D-Woodland Hills) after several pot shops filed lawsuits challenging Los Angeles’ authority to regulate them.

The measure, supported by the Los Angeles city attorney, authorizes local government to adopt ordinances regulating the location and operation of the dispensaries and to file civil or criminal claims against violators.

“This is a great victory for communities which have been struggling with rogue dispensaries popping up overnight without any regard for their laws relating to business licensure and zoning restrictions,’’ Blumenfield said. "The new law will  provide a framework for stability after years of struggling with a Wild West, lawless proliferation of dispensaries across California that sometimes constitute a public nuisance or worse.”

The governor approved the measure a day after the Legislature sent him another bill, SB 847, which would prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries from locating within 600 feet of homes. The governor has 12 days to act on that bill by state Sen. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana).

-- Patrick McGreevy

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