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L.A. Council committees approve fees for pot dispensaries

March 23, 2010 |  5:36 pm

Two Los Angeles City Council committees Tuesday approved an array of special fees that medical marijuana dispensaries will be required to pay to register with the city, deciding with minimal debate to send the proposal to the council for a vote in early April.

The city's medical marijuana ordinance, which passed in January, cannot take effect until the council sets the fees. Councilman Ed Reyes said he hopes the law will be in place by the end of May or early June, allowing city enforcement officials to shut down unregistered dispensaries.

In addition to other city fees, an operator registering an existing dispensary would have to pay fees adding up to about $1,200. Medical marijuana advocates, who aggressively fought the City Council over its ordinance, did not challenge the proposal, saying it seemed reasonable.

City officials plan to send notices to dispensaries that are qualified to register, noting that operators have to start the process for the required criminal background check now so that it can be finished by the time they must notify the City Clerk that they intend to register.

"We want to make sure they are given every chance to fulfill that paperwork," Reyes said.

-- John Hoeffel