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As we have previously discussed, dispensary owners have been racing to meet the deadline to collect enough signatures to block L.A.'s new medical marijuana laws.
But they didn't beat the clock.
Many of the signatures they collected were found to be invalid, the Los Angeles Times reported. After being refused an extension of time to collect signatures, the group's challenge looks to be dead, at least for now.
The medical marijuana dispensary group sought a 10-day extension, hoping it would give them more time to gather the 27,425 signatures for the referendum to qualify.
City officials said they did not have the authority to grant the extension.
As previously discussed, the new ordinance caps the number of medical marijuana clinics in the city at 70.
Although the medical marijuana group collected about 30,000 signatures only 14,200 appeared valid officials said.
The group complained that it took city officials several days to approve the petition, cutting into the 30 days allowed to file it.
But city officials contend they approved the petition in six days and any delays were caused because the pages of the petition were out of order or missing.
As previously discussed, medical marijuana advocates are seeking to overturn the city's medical marijuana dispensary ordinance before it takes effect in May.
The city has already proposed fees for medical marijuana dispensaries. That is the last piece needed for the council to approve and for the ordinance to become official.
Dan Halbert, operator of Rainforest Collective in Mar Vista organized the petition. He said he spent about $20,000 and $30,000 on the effort and was disappointed that he didn't get enough signatures.
Halbert has said he plans to review his legal options.