L.A.’s New Medical Pot Law Will Shut Hundreds Of Dispensaries


Photo: The Fresh Scent
Starting today, June 7, Los Angeles’s medical marijuana ordinance says there should be 400 fewer dispensaries in town.

​Hundreds of Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensaries are under orders to lock their doors Monday as the city’s new ordinance regulating the shops takes effect. About 400 stores have been ordered to shut down by Monday, June 7.

“The people pushing the law haven’t come out to see what we’re actually doing here,” said “Amber,” an employee at The Humming Collective in Highland Park. “We’re here for everyone, and it’s a shame they don’t see that as part of the healing of the community.”
The owner of The Humming Collective said they serve 4,000 patients, most of them from the San Gabriel Valley, reports Leanne Suter at KABC-TV. Those who rely on the location will be seriously impacted by the city’s new ordinance, according to patients and advocates.

Graphic: The Green Cross

​”They’re restricting my access as a patient to medicine I know I can get safely, and I know that the staff here is knowledgeable about the medicine,” said “Bob.” “They can help me find what I need to address my issues as a patient.”
Dispensaries which opened before the November 13, 2007 moratorium imposed by the Los Angeles City Council will be allowed to remain open — if, within six months, they resolve zoning issues around so-called “sensitive uses,” including schools, churches, parks and residences.
That means about 130 or so dispensaries — the survivors from the 187 shops that opened before the moratorium — have at least a shot at staying open. The rest have been ordered to shut down or face hefty fines and jail time.
City prosecutors have not said how they plan to enforce the ordinance, but fines for violating it could run as high as $2,500 per day reports The Los Angeles Independent.
Los Angeles hopes to eventually whittle the number of dispensaries down to 70 (by not replacing any of the 130+ which close), and to limit the shops to industrial areas.
L.A. Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant on Friday rejected requests by dispensaries and patients for a restraining order stopping the ordinance from taking effect. The judge said the ordinance would not prevent patients from getting medical marijuana.
Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich’s office last month sent threatening letters to the operators of about 400 dispensaries, ordering them to close by June 7.
The 130+ pre-moratorium dispensaries allowed to stay open are required to file a notice of intent with the City Clerk’s Office and will be put on a priority list.
City officials will then inspect the shops to see if they are at least 1,000 feet from “sensitive uses,” including schools, public parks, public libraries and religious institutions — or other dispensaries.
If two shops are within 1,000 feet of each other, the City Clerk’s Office will use the priority list to determine which one of them can stay open.
Under the ordinance, dispensaries are banned from being “on a lot abutting, across the street or alley from, or having a common corner with a residentially zoned lot or a lot improved with residential use.”