|Photo by Laurie Avocado, Wikimedia Commons|
|We got a thousand of ’em! Medical marijuana dispensary on Ventura Boulevard in L.A.|
How many medical marijuana dispensaries are needed in a city with 4 million people?
That’s the question the Los Angeles City Council will be grappling with Tuesday as they decide how to deal with an explosion of the pot shops. Two years ago, when the number reached 186 registered dispensaries, a moratorium was put in place, but a boilerplate “hardship” exemption was included that proved to be a big enough loophole for hundreds more to slip through.
Current dispensary estimates run between 800 and 1,000, and the truism that “L.A. has more marijuana shops than Starbucks” has already captured the public imagination.
Councilman Jose Huizar has suggested a cap of 70 dispensaries; “I’d rather start with a low number,” he told the Los Angeles Times, calling 70 “a reasonable number” since that would be two for each of L.A.’s designated communities. Huizar’s proposal is one of more than three dozen changes the council will consider as it resumes debate on L.A.’s proposed medical marijuana ordinance.