L.A.'s Medical Marijuana Law Takes Effect Today; More Than 400 Pot Shops Warned To Close

It is the day of reckoning for a vast majority of medical marijuana dispensaries that will be out of compliance with a new city law that takes effect Monday. More than 400 of the 583 pot shops in the city are expected to be outlawed by the ordinance, which only allows the 130 or so surviving marijuana establishments that registered with the city before its 2007 ordinance to stay open.

What's more, the shops can't exist within 1,000 feet of churches, schools, parks and other "sensitive use" sites, they have to submit to city audits and they have to maintain limited hours. Still, there's little besides warning letters sent out by the City Attorney's office to keep shops from continuing to sell weed: The city doesn't have the resources to go after them all. So it will be interesting to see who folds.

Last month Jane Usher, senior adviser to City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, warned pot retailers not to risk the criminal charges that could come with trying to stay open.

"If I am someone who can never comply with an ordinance and I'm the potential recipient of the penalties, I would shut down," she said. "I think those who don't comply are rolling the dice."


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