Time is running out for Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensaries as they face a September deadline to shut down or face legal action.
There are more than 1,000 medical marijuana facilities in the city of Los Angeles. The sheer volume of stores is part of the problem for the city, which is having a hard time regulating the clinics. Past attempts to shut them down have been met with lawsuits from the clinics.
Now, the city is taking what some consider drastic measures. The City Attorney's Office sent out letters to all the medical marijuana facilities in L.A. telling them that as of Sept. 6, they will need to shut their doors. If they do not comply, the clinics will face legal action and fines up to $2,500 a day for each day they remain n operation after the deadline.
The L.A. City Council voted in July to ban storefront marijuana dispensaries, citing a lack of clarity on how the city can legally regulate the distribution of medical cannabis and the potential threat of federal legal action against the city.
The council's vote allows primary caregivers and patients to grow and transport marijuana. Under the new ordinance, two or three patients are allowed to collectively grow and share marijuana in homes or apartments, but not storefronts. Those who have medical marijuana cards will still be able to grow and smoke marijuana. They just won't be able to go into a clinic and buy it.
In response to the looming deadline and new ordinance, medical marijuana clinics are responding by gathering signatures and hoping to get a referendum on the ballot to overturn the city's decision.
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Author: John Gregory
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