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Signatures Could Block Marijuana Dispensary Laws

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By Kamika Dunlap on March 15, 2010 3:03 PM

Dispensary owners are not shutting down their businesses without a fight and collecting signatures to block L.A.'s new medical marijuana laws.

A group of dispensary owners and patients are gathering signatures to force a voter referendum on the new medical marijuana laws. The new ordinance, which likely takes effect in May, caps the number of pot shops to 70 and forces hundreds of others to close.

According to the Los Angeles Times, medical marijuana advocates are seeking to overturn the city's medical marijuana dispensary ordinance before it takes effect. The group will need to collect and turn in 27,425 valid signatures before an upcoming deadline.

Recently, the city officials propose fees for medical marijuana dispensaries. That is the last piece needed for the council to approve and for the ordinance to take effect.

Under the proposal a manager registering an existing dispensary would pay a total of about $1,200. The fees would cover the Los Angeles Police Department $151 to perform criminal background checks, the city clerk to review the registration and Building and Safety Department to conduct pre-inspection. In addition, every three months pot shop owners would be required to update the registration and pay $140.

These fees are low compared to other cities like San Francisco. The charges include $8,470 for an application permit and $3,933 for a license and reinspection.

As previously discussed, LA's new law makes an exception for about 128 dispensaries that registered in 2007, when the City Council adopted a moratorium.

The referendum comes on the heels of the city's first legal challenge by an advocacy group, as previously discussed.

Americans for Safe Access is suing the city and seeking a temporary restraining order against their aggressive actions to shut down clinics not abiding by the law.

At issue is the short seven-day time frame the city gave the clinics to relocate once the ordinance takes effect.

 

 

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