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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Los Angeles City Council Voted Tuesday To Close Roughly 800 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries



Los Angeles has been at the forefront of the medical marijuana movement, with more dispensaries in one area than any other city or even state. People have become outraged by the plethora of dispensaries that have over taken their neighborhoods, popping up not far from where children are playing. California has been associated with having the most relaxed laws and being the easiest state to acquire a medical marijuana card - one only need say they require it and VoilĂ ! The so-called "wild west" days of medical marijuana may be coming to an end here real shortly, the Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to close roughly 800 medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the city by passing the first reading of an ordinance which would force 75% of remaining dispensaries to relocate. There will be another vote on Tuesday because this week's vote was 11-3, which fell short of the 12-0 result that an ordinance needs to pass on the first reading.

"The ordinance sets new rules for dispensaries that council members hope will curtail the anything-goes environment that made Los Angeles the vivid epicenter of the money-fueled Green Rush that erupted when the Obama administration announced last year that it would no longer prosecute dispensaries adhering to California's medical marijuana laws", according to the LA Times. Not only will there be fewer dispensaries in LA, but, there will be much stricter laws regarding medical marijuana all together. The new law will put a stop to the late-night pot club scene and will require the dispensaries to close their doors at 8pm. No more smoking or consuming marijuana based products inside the dispensaries. On top of the new rules, dispensary owners will have to keep extensive records on their operations and are not allowed to make a profit; special police units will be put into place to force compliance.

The ordinance will limit the number of dispensaries to only 70. Exceptions will be made but there will surely be many dispensary owners who will try and fight back for their investment. Any dispensary registered under the moratorium and is still in business will be allowed to keep their doors open. It will be interesting to see the battle that ensues in the coming weeks regarding LA's dispensaries, after all, so goes Los Angeles so goes the nation with this debate - or so it seems.

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