L.A. Warns Prospective New Pot Shops Not To Open In The City

The city of L.A.'s top attorney on Friday warned new pot shops not to open their doors despite a judge's recent order telling City Hall not to enforce much of its new medical marijuana dispensary law.

In other words, hold your horses, weed peddlers. The City Attorney isn't going to standby if you try to take advantage of the situation.

Here's what L.A.'s attorney-in-chief had to say in a statement released Friday:

"The City's Medical Marijuana Ordinance remains in effect. Judge Mohr's ruling does not allow any new collectives to open their doors ... My Office is committed to public health and safety and will continue to protect patients from smuggled and contaminated medical marijuana, as well as enforce existing laws in order to prevent the proliferation of pot shops and the unlawful sale and distribution of marijuana to recreational users and others for profit."

Got that?

Step away from the bong.

Trutanich says Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mohr's ruling last week doesn't allow a free-for-all in the pot-shop scene. It only prevents the city from shutting down shops based on the time they opened (post-2007 moratorium).

L.A.'s ordinance states that cannabis retailers that opened after that moratorium won't be qualified to stay open. The judge put a halt to that part of the law. Mohr said the city's ordinance was too confusing.

But that doesn't mean new stores can open, Trutanich says.

According to the statement from his office:

Although the Court found the bulk of the ordinance to be constitutional and valid, Judge Mohr enjoined the City from implementing the following provisions: the "grandfather" provisions that allowed medical marijuana collectives operating before a certain date to have a preference in registering under the new ordinance; the imposition of criminal penalties for violations of the ordinance; certain patient information and record-keeping requirements; and the expiration date or "sunset clause" of the ordinance.

The C.A. also notes that Mohr's ruling doesn't take effect until Jan. 7. So he can still bust shops that don't meet the letter of L.A.'s law. Seems like.

Sounds to us like the city's afraid that the number of pot shops in town will rise again -- back to last spring's peak level of nearly 550.

In fact, Trutanich says the judge's ruling actually encourage the city to tighten up its rules. He quotes Mohr:

"The City has a duty to address the problem of drug dealers and recreational users who are attempting to hijack California's medical marijuana legislation for their own benefit."

The City Attorney said he's working with the City Council on this.

To be continued ...


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