Marijuana dispensary ban put on hold
City clerk’s office verifies petition signatures
A ban on storefront medical marijuana dispensaries that was supposed to take effect Thursday in Los Angeles remains on hold while the city clerk’s office works to verify thousands of petition signatures from activists trying to force a public vote on the issue.
According to a notice from the city attorney posted on the city clerk’s Office website, the city “will not enforce” the ordinance during the signature-tallying process.
“The ordinance may or may not remain suspended after the city clerk’s review, depending on whether the city clerk determines that the petition contains the required number of valid voter signatures,” according to the notice.
It goes on to say, however, that “the business of medical marijuana continues to be an unpermitted land use in the city.”
A group of activists last week submitted about 50,000 signatures to the city in hopes of forcing a referendum on the marijuana ordinance. A minimum of 27,425 valid signatures from registered city voters are required to get the issue on the March ballot.
City Councilman Jose Huizar, who championed the ban approved by his colleagues, said last week that while the submission of signatures puts the city’s ordinance on hold, state law still allows only “a qualified patient or their caregiver to grow their own (marijuana) or collectives consisting of three or fewer qualified patients or their caregivers.”
“State law is clear—selling medical marijuana for profit is illegal,” Huizar said. The referendum effort “does not change that and doesn’t protect dispensary owners from prosecution if they engage in illegal activity.”
The City Council voted in July to ban the dispensaries, citing conflicting court opinions about whether the city can legally regulate cannabis collectives. While banning storefront dispensaries, the city’s action would allow licensed patients or caregivers to grow and transport their own medical marijuana.
After the vote, the city attorney’s office sent letters to 1,046 suspected dispensary locations warning them to shut down by Thursday or face court action and a $2,500 fine for every day they remain open past the deadline.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The City Attorney’s Office announced today it is warning all marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles to close by Sept. 6, when a new ordinance goes into effect, or face court action and a $2,500 fine for every day they remain open after the deadline.
The office mailed letters to 1,046 suspected dispensary locations and to 728 landlords, warning they are also liable if dispensaries remain open beyond the deadline.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A proposed streetcar system in downtown Los Angeles would create 9,300 jobs and generate about $47 million for the city, according to a study released today by supporters of the project.
"The Los Angeles streetcar will have an incredible return with major benefits for Los Angeles—over $1.1 billion in new development and thousands of new jobs,'' according to Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of AEG, the owner of Staples Center and the company pushing for an NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—City Councilman Jose Huizar canceled today's scheduled news conference
in the aftermath of an e-mail sent by his now-fired spokesman stating the campaign would "put a political bullet'' in the head of rival candidate Rudy Martinez before the March 8 election.
Huizar's news conference had been intended to criticize businessman Martinez for possessing an LAPD badge bearing the name of a slain officer. It was canceled two hours before it was to begin.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The Los Angeles City Council called today for a ballot measure to tax medical marijuana, though its attorneys and other advisers seemed wary of the idea.
Voting 9-3, the council directed its attorneys to draft the ballot measure. They would have to take another vote before Nov. 17 to put the measure on the March 8 ballot.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Letters will be sent this week to the operators of at least 400 medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, ordering them to close by June 7.
“It will inform (operators) that a new ordinance is going into effect, and it is our understanding that their establishment is operating outside compliance and will be required to shut down,” said Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the City Attorney’s Office. The letters will be sent soon, he said.