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Los Angeles City Council approves medical marijuana ordinance that will shut down hundreds of dispensaries

In a 9-3 vote, the Los Angeles City Council today gave its final approval to an ordinance that will shut down hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries and impose strict rules on the location and operation of the dispensaries that are allowed.

The measure passed quickly, without debate.

The ordinance, which the council first began discussing more than 4 1/2 years ago, will cap the number of dispensaries at 70 but make an exception to allow all those that registered with the city in 2007 and have remained open. City officials believe that number is around 150.

Hundreds of dispensaries have opened in Los Angeles as the City Council debated its proposed ordinance and failed to enforce a moratorium on new dispensaries. City officials believe there are more than 500 that will be required to close under the ordinance, but some are already preparing to sue the city and collect signatures to force a referendum on the ordinance.

The ordinance also requires dispensaries to be at least 1,000 feet from other dispensaries and so-called sensitive uses, such as schools, parks and libraries. Among other restrictions, dispensaries will be required to close at 8 p.m. and will not be permitted to allow marijuana use at the stores.

The ordinance will not take effect until after Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signs it and the City Council approves the fees that dispensaries will have to pay to cover the city's cost of monitoring. City officials are studying those costs and expect to propose the fees soon.

Once the ordinance is in place, the city attorney's office will send letters to affected landlords and dispensary operators telling them that they must close immediately. If the dispensaries remain open, the city attorney's office likely will take them to court.

-- John Hoeffel at City Hall

Related story, Los Angeles City Council approves medical marijuana ordinance that will shut down hundreds of dispensaries

Comments () | Archives (100)

time for a fire sale. if you plant a seed you will not need the clinic. they rip you off while lining their pockets. under the guise of non profit. using stupid names to push products, many of these folks running the clinics are not experts they look at some picture and call it this or that. i encourage the city council to adopt the standards of potency ratings on those products, along with ammounts for an patient to consume to be advised by a doctor, one eighth per day is more then what one person may need. one gram per day is sufficent quanities. unless they be terminaly ill patients, they need more. i hope the city council takes this measure up. doctor shopping in the form of clinic shopping needs be curbed as well. spend your money on life not dope. it should just be legal to grow. then watch those clinic owners actually haves to do some work for a living.

The city council must love getting sued. This ordinance will eventually be overturned. Californian's have A RIGHT to access their medicine and dispensaries provide a safe and essential method to provide access to patients.

Beyond that can our city really afford to close down 500 successful businesses in the middle of this recession?

Who voted which way?

I'd just like to know who to thank for the hundreds of vacant storefronts our city will have.

Absurd. This will inevitably be tossed out by the courts, after the city wastes thousands of dollars it does not have to fight it. If they implement this then they should also close every CVS, Walgreens, and Rite-Aid that's within 1000 yards of a school, park, or library. And make them close by 8 instead of running 24/7. They sell many products that can actually KILL YOU, unlike the dispensaries. Liquor, tobacco, and all the pills behind the counter have no place in "sensitive use" areas; if they're going to play that BS game then fair is fair. But they don't have the stones to pull that stunt, so look for this to be overturned quickly and a sweeping change in the city council next election!

Simply a waste of time and tax dollars.

Waste of energy - instead legalize, regulate and tax it.

THANK GOD!!!! It is about time. These pot stores have become a pandemic. There are 5 within one square mile of my home and are open until 12 midnight selling to people only buying dope to use for the evening. My community is becoming the druggie district. I have even seen pot store billboards across from one of the local high schools, which by the way is predominantly latino, and fliers for the pot stores have been left on cars in the neighborhood which includes mine. I don't do drugs and do not ever want too. My brother started with pot in Jr. high school and ended up a drop out and drug addict. These pot stores never tell their customers pot is an addictive substance, just like cigarettes.

Great strategy, LA. Tie up the already overloaded courts with more useless suppression/prohibition tactics. How long before the ancient generation that prefers mind-numbing alcohol and toxic tobacco dies off to leave the mind expanding herb users alone? It's just another form of discrimination.

Why just tax the shops for the cost to police them? Why doesn't the city add a fair and reasonable city tax for the general fund?

This is so wrong. They're killing hundreds of jobs... for a little green non-addictive substance that's legal for those who need it. Baffling.

After years of experience in politics, these idiots' only solution is to shut down businesses--not to achieve true reform.

Well, I don't like Mormon churches. What should we do about that problem? Close them all?

o this is not good. what the hell has marijuana use ever done to our society except make its people more introspective, creative, and calmer??

Well, back to my old drug dealer out of an apartment complex. You win?

There's a lot more money to be made if we just legalized it in the state already. Every day that goes by without legalization is a big waste of potential money for this desperate state of ours.

Thank you LA City Council. I live in Woodland Hills and there are 3 of these places literally within 1/2 mile of my house. Ridiculous. I'm okay with legalizing it, but make people go to a non-residential area to use and buy. And the folks going in and buying it appear to all be white, young and rich.

I hope the dispensaries sue the city and win.

I think its ridiculous that I can go out in this country and buy a gun. Guns are used to hurt and kill people, but I can legally go out and purchase one and say it's for 'protection'.

But if I smoke a plant that has numerous benefits for me, then I am a bad person? I don't get it.

I can buy guns, buy tobacco (causes cancer), drink alcohol (causes health problems and you can OD), buy powerful synthetic opiate pharmaceutical pills (like oxycotin) but I can't buy my weed???

There are liquor stores all over the places near schools, parks or 'sensitive' areas. There are places to buy guns near these sensitive areas, but that still happens right?

The double standard in this country is ridiculous. I should be able to buy my herb safely from a collective even if one is near another one.

Sue please please sue the city for trying to infringe on the rights of the patients. End this nonsense and lets vote to legalize weed and stop having bureaucrats trying to tell us what to do.

This country is based on freedom and the people deserve to have freedom to pick and choose what they want to do.

This is horrible news. Ive been a patient for a while and i ride in the bus. It would be horrible news to find out that any of the closer shops will close forcing me to travel out of my way to get my medicine.

Great stuff! Let's push it back underground so the gangs can get their profits back! Way to go!

Everyone runs around giddy with pink ribbons trying to make people "aware" of breast cancer. But here I am. I have stage 4 breast cancer and marijuana in many ways more effective at controlling my chronic severe pain than many prescription meds. I can sleep at night. I can control bone pain and neuropathy. But the City Council had decided to limit access to marijuana. People can make batches of crystal meth in their kitchen. Kids can coat themselves in inhalants. People living in apartments are passively exposed to second hand tobacco smoke. Yet the villan is marijuana. I would attend police neighborhood meetings and all they would expound on was marijuana use, not the dangers of cigarettes that are dipped in crystal meth and sold on the corner. I just hope the City Council does not make anymore medical decisons for me. It would greatly affect my survival.

The city council has just opened up a new era for organized crime in Los Angeles as
patients and dispensaries will be forced onto the streets.

If they fail to comply, shouldn't they go to jail?

I'm glad the city finally clamped down on these opportunists. I know a handful of people who run them, and dozens of people who go there for prescriptions, and the vast majority of the transactions are about getting $55/eighth, high grade weed (or edibles) to party with.

Basically, these dispensaries are just really huge cash machines.

I'm all for sick people legitimately using weed dispensaries, and I even support legalizing weed in general, with the same rules and taxes as alcohol - but 99% of this med weed dispensary situation has just been about partying and making a bongload of money.

It's unfortunate that the City Council couldn't pass a better ordinance, but Ed Reyes should be commended for marshaling it to the finish line. Hopefully, Reyes' PLUM committee will clean up the ordinance with some solid amendments, so that the city ends up with an ordinance that is workable. If the ordinance remains as it is, safe access to medical marijuana will be limited and the city will likely be mired in years of litigation to restore that access.

Just in time for the drug dealers to be released from prison. Hmm...Looks like the city council is in bed with the gang bangers. Big surprise...I gotta get out of this state!

Hooray! At last! These pot shops have become a horrible blight on my neighborhood. The shady characters running these pot shops could not care less about really helping people with illnesses. They are just profiteers who disrespect our community and bring in a criminal element. That's why there have been 3 armed robberies at these pot shops recently. They are a classic example of "nuisance" businesses that harm a community. Shut them down now!!!

shame on the city council for not listening to the majority of angelinos.
I hope they realize the mistake they made when the money runs out and the city has to begin to issue IOUs again

How far does the city council members have to go to buy their
liquor? Pain meds? Morning after pills?

How many complaints have they gotten from people really
harmed, not just offended that some can buy their meds?

Someone should watch the city council members personal lives.

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