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L.A. Council committees approve fees for pot dispensaries

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

Comments () | Archives (16)

It's remarkable to me that the dispensary advocates have matured politically in such a short time. That's apparent in their lack of resistance to fees they called "reasonable," even though they may not be charged to other kinds of pharmaceutical dispensaries. My concern, perhaps oddly, is that the criminal background check may prevent small-time marijuana dealers who were outside the law in the past the opportunity to prosper and lead normal lives by now trafficking in something that has become (de facto) legal. You might even say that someone who has never been a dealer has no business selling medical marijuana or any other kind. I'd like to see these young adults become part of the mainstrream instead of being marginalized throughout their lives for violation of what voters believe were foolish laws in the first place.

"We want to make sure they are given every chance to fulfill that paperwork"

How kind. Too bad the city couldn't do that when the time to gather signatures for the petition to reject the ordinance was cut short.

So now LA City Council is getting into the skimming business, they want theirs off the top. You must pay us before you can sell to them. The drug game is the the drug game even if it is legal.

Start shutting down these pot stores already! They are a horrible blight on my neighborhood. There were 3 armed robberies last year at the pot stores in my neighborhood, and we see teenagers smoking pot at them and then driving recklessly down our residential streets. How many people have to be killed before these places get shut down?

the registration fee should be $1000 a month. The dispensaries can afford it

I am all for legalization of pot but not at the prices these dispensaries charge .it was cheaper when it was illegal.

Is there a way we can get a list of the dispensaries that will remain in business? Maybe the LA Time can print the list of those who made the cut.

Of course a fee to the city is reasonable. We have fought hard to get to this point, and a fee is a small price to pay to put an end to the police and prosecutor insanity that has ruined so many innocent people's lives. The unthinking, knee-jerk moralist drug-warriors will experience the end to their irrational reign of terror. I am happy to be alive to watch the process of legalization of cannabis in California, and I send a grateful thanks to those who fought the good fight over the years and who are are no longer with us. It is happening at last, after all these bad years!

Are these pot pharmacies operating like normal drugstores?

I agree with (mitzi ) $1,000.00 per month...OR BIG discounts to Cancer patients ..It's too expensive for them...I know my sister died of Cancer, and THC was the only real relief..Morphine did not help..Also the fewer stores = HIGHER PRICES..I am for Taxing THC..BUT Mr Mayor wants to tax DWP customers.. He likes GREEN..Maybe He should smoke a a bowl..

When I hear dispensaries use the words "compassion" and "non profit" I know they are liars. Dispensaries are profiting from the sale of marijuana which is illegal. They also commit tax evasion and launder drug money. I support a persons right to have access to medical marijuana but in no way do I support dispensaries.

1000 dispensaries and they are all running non-for-profit,dispensing safe all organic bud, selling only to patients and are certified health professionals.
What a joke!

The mayor should go back to washing dishes.

You know, I visited the Long Beach area just last week and visited many areas and traveled using the subway metro as well, and I never saw any dispensaries at all! They do not stick out like a sore thumb on every street corner as some have described; looks like another exageration by prohibitionists painting an inaccurate image--imagine that!

$1,200. is peanuts to retail operations that have over $100,000. a month in gross sales selling weed. Of course none of them had a problem with it. Their net profits are enormous! They just want to get back to selling weed.

I have my doctors rec and go visit different shops. Love making my "donations " to the stores but it really is a racket when all the prices are basically the same.
A "donation" should not be a set fee or not based on a set fee or set prices. A donation is a donation is a donation.

They are all "for profit " drug dealers. Love it all but it is what is is. The prices at these shops are going to have to come down and way down in order for them to fully comply with the ordinance.
They will be needing to show way less profits.

The med shops should all be closed, then the city application fee should be 25 thousand dollars. Much like a liquor liscense.
The applicant is carefully reviewed, screened and background checked then given a business permit.

this process will rid us of all the filth that pollutes medical marijuana.


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