Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Medical marijuana dispensaries notified they must close immediately

The Los Angeles city attorney’s office has stepped up its drive to close illegal medical marijuana dispensaries, notifying operators and landlords of 140 pot shops that they must close immediately.

In a letter sent Monday, the office targeted dispensaries that did not file applications to participate in a lottery to choose 100 that will operate in the city. The city clerk received 228 applications from dispensaries and is reviewing them to make sure they meet the qualifications for the drawing, which include having been in business since Sept. 14, 2007.

Asha Greenberg, the assistant city attorney who has overseen the enforcement efforts, warned in the letter that the city could sue violators and seek financial penalties, as well as pursue administrative actions “to discontinue the use and padlock the property.”

“The next step for us is to wait and see if these places close, and if they don’t close, LAPD will investigate them, and we will take legal action against the ones that remain,” she said.

The move restarts a process that began 10 months ago when the city sent warning letters to 439 dispensaries. That effort was disrupted when scores of dispensaries sued to challenge the city’s restrictive medical marijuana ordinance. A judge declared parts of the law unconstitutional in December and the City Council adopted a new ordinance in January.

Greenberg said the 140 dispensaries were identified from the earlier list. “We basically whittled it down to these that are currently open and operating, which doesn’t mean that there aren’t more out there,” she said. “We keep getting information that places have reopened or new ones have opened up.”

-- John Hoeffel

Comments () | Archives (27)

Tax that!

They act in YOUR name!

As a Libertarian I believe all drugs should be legal, including marijuana. I have no love for these "dispensaries, " however. By charging insane prices for their products, they make tons of money and take advantage of patients.

Prop 215's writers and backers made sure that it is legal for patients to grow their own medicine. Growing it is easy and inexpensive, and eliminates the need for these rip-off dispensaries.

Glad to see your spending the states money well Asha. Maybe you should re focus your priorities.

They all need closing down and if they are " medical" should be run out of a hospital.

Real smart, guys... you waste LAPD resources on petty crusades like this while ignoring the murders and theft going on every single DAY!

It is not new information that every sale made at a dispensary is one less from the black market, but the city council seems to have rejected reality in favor of myopic dogma. Why don't they go after liquor stores and 7-11s with the same gusto as dispensaries if they claim to be concerned about crime?

The hypocrisy and ignorance shown by city government here is disgusting.

Why does LA want 140 businesses to shut down ??

Let the ones stay open that are open as of now and cap it !!

Done !!
Let people pay their bills ...

Also if you guys are going to cap businesses
cap some liquor stores, bars and gun shops


The prohibitionists will do anything to derail the access to medicinal cannabis. What a shame! Cannabis prohibition is doomed to failure, as it is based on a series of total "un-realities", which no amount of repression can make "real". Cannabis is NOT physically addictive as it lacks a documented physical withdrawal syndrome, the so-called "gateway drug theory discredited as invalid, much touted by the DEA drug Marinol is not at all the same as medicinal cannabis, smoking Cannabis does not increase the risk of lung cancer, and cannabis use suppresses violent behavior. These are REALITIES! To further say that Cannabis plant does not have medicinal properties is simply delusional and is a complete "break" with "reality". If anti-Cannabis repression by the DEA and its allies were to be intensified, the rate of alcohol, cocaine, opiates, other hard drugs, alcohol, and dangerous prescription drugs would increase sharply. Neither the DEA, not its minions can make people perceive Cannabis as "unsafe", where is in reality it is quite safe, much safer than alcohol and other alternatives. With the rise of the use of alcohol/hard drugs, the amount of violence and mayhem in this society will also rise, something that every mother and wife should consider. In these hard economic times our so-called "representatives" do not even dare talking about cutting the bloated DEA budget, especially its so-called "marijuana" enforcement, while they are willing to discuss cutting everything else. This is because the DEA and its minions are very good with attaching labels, and no one wants to risk being "labeled" as "soft on drugs"! The employment drug tests have a potential of "screening out" "Picassos", and Lady GaGas, and Willie Nelsons, but letting people like Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson slip through (if the employers are "lucky"). And to say that Cannabis Plant does not have medicinal properties is simply delusional! Cannabis prohibition, as based on glaring scientific and philosophical "un-realities" and can never succeed in the long run!

City is going to close 140 tax paying business. And use our tax dollars to do so. Not to mention increase the black market for Mexican pot. Where is the logic?

A list of the 140 pot shops that must close immediately would be great to see.
This would help concerned residents to keep a eye out to report the non-compliant and any shops that have moved or reopened. Time to step up.

Medical marijuana is a hoax. It is simply a drug that makes people high. End of story. There are not any medicinal benefits. We don't need to encourage people to use drugs because we have seen the effects of alcohol. We don't need more whacked out people. Plus, pot store owners are just exploiting the public with their prices. If some people truly need marijuana then it should dispensed through legal pharmacies not unregulated storefronts.

Once the new tax revenue starts to rolling in the City will allow more shops to open. I wouldn't be surprise if the city doubles the number of shops within a year or two.

The city has been trying unsuccessfully to shut down dispensaries for years. While the city attempts to shut down dispensaries, new ones open up. Such a waste of time and resources. They should let the ones that are open stay and restrict new ones from opening. The way that the city has handled the whole situation is a joke.

Since pot shops are mostly cash business you can bet not all income will be reported thus a lot less tax revenue. Most shops will keep two books and large quantity sales will go out the backdoor. Any actual taxes collected will mostly go towards the enforcement (including illegal shop closures) and regulation of these shops. With these factors, I don't see any new pot shops being allowed to open nor pot holes being filled anytime soon.

what a waste of tax dollars....let themn stay open and tax it morons

shut them all down!
I notice a lot of kids coming out of those places and sometimes they come in a car load..really 6 people in a 2 door honda?. I used to live by a "dispenserie" and most of the "customers" look like thugs, and would graffiti the walls or parking meters, sidewalks whatever they could. also fights would break out on the street and or even inside and would spill back out to the street from what it seem like rival gangs..and of course the breaking in and couple of times the place got robbed.
how aout these other customers who would pull up and RUN in and out and have disability tags hanging from their rearview mirrors. I've never seen a "handicap" person run so fast.

This city is on a power-grab binge. It's no different than what's happening nationwide. Be careful - look around - it's our rights that are being taken away. This stupid move is after the city approved an additional 5% tax on marijuana. We need the revenue - don't we? Unfilled potholes are killing my back every time I have to drive over them. Focus on fixing our city's infrastructure and not on vlosing businesses that harm nobody and bring in revenue.
Next - City Planning is going to allow businesses to takeover residential parking, in order make it more convenient for the businesses to operate. What happened to the people having a voice??

Trutanich is a ridiculous and misguided city attorney for a city like Los Angeles.

This drug needs to be treated on a level par with all other drugs. It should only be legal to sell it in pill-form, from pharmacies, with parallel laws to every other narcotic sold at legal pharmacies.

Also, since the free-market is interrupted by limiting supply, there need to be artificial caps on profiteering on the product.

i'm getting so tired of this whole "medical" marijuana thing. It's not medical. People like to smoke pot. Period. All you need to do is get a script from a "doctor" in venice and boom, you're set. That's just ridiculous. Also, if it is medically needed, fine, I have no problem with taking anything for medicinal purposes. Let people feel better! but why not just put it in a pill, shot, or liquid like every other medication. If it's medical, it's medical, fine, but just stop treating it like some covert thing that needs to be distributed from shadowy corners of strip malls that need security guards and attracts a lot of dangerous characters to the neighborhood. I was at a traffic light with my window rolled down and the driver was smoking pot. I don't want to smell it! Is that wrong?

They'll just relocate back to the parks and playgrounds.

i'd love to open a business with out a sellers permit, tax ID number or business license to sell drugs that violate federal law and commit tax evasion. The city should fine all illegal marijuana dispensaries $50,000 a day for every day they sold drugs. That would solve our budget problem.

Somebody wanted to see a list of dispensaries supposed to be effected:

So what if the process to get a medical card is a joke. And I do agree that if people need a 'scrip, they should be picking up pills and edibles, not smoke-ables.

Something like 50% of adults have used marijuana in their past. I don't know about you prohibitionists, but I am sick of hearing about all the violence and beheadings and such at the hands of the cartels who smuggle their weed into the U.S. and use the profits they make from our wallets to carry out such violent acts.

When California legalized weed for medical use 15 years ago, yeah I would say it fit under the term "give them an inch they'll take a mile". So the system isn't very legit, but I think it is much better than the alternative. At least the profits can stay local, and less smokers must visit a drug dealer (who sometimes sells other harder drugs which is how mj smokers get into those drugs anyways!)

I'm sorry for those who live close to a dispensary. Yeah, they can be intimidating. But better them selling weed out of a controlled facility than a playground, or through gangs. I don't see what the problem is except for people living in the past to be sulking that civilization is evolving

Reefer madness is a fictitious film. get over it.

when are they going to close? They are still selling pot with out a business license, tax ID number, or sellers permit which means they are committing tax evasion. Maybe the IRS doesn't care. If the dispensaries can commit tax evasion and get away with it why can't every one else in California?

today is the 27th and they are still open. when is the city going to do something?

1 2 | »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: