Marijuana Dispensary Ban Starts Sept. 6: L.A. Moves Forward With Pot Shop Closures

Stock up now, people.

The day Los Angeles dispensaries are supposed to close by city decree is Sept. 6. The mayor signed the City Council's dispensary ban last Thursday, and the ordinance was published today, giving it 31 days, or until Thursday, Sept. 6, to take effect, according to what the City Clerk's office told the Weekly.

Now, if you were expecting more foot-dragging and back-and-forth on this inside City Hall, so did we. Unfortunately for you ...

... a "second reading," or confirmatory vote, was unnecessary this week because the ban vote was unanimous (14-0), according to a spokesman for Councilman Jose Huizar, the main author of the prohibition ordinance.

Now, there still is a competing proposal by Councilman Paul Koretz and friends that would give 182 pre-2007-moratorium pot shops a reprieve.

Koretz's chief of staff, Richard H. Llewellyn, Jr., says it's still up the air, making it appear to us that it would not be approved in time to stave off the ban. The City Attorney's office was working on drafting the language of the proposal, he told us:

Marijuana Dispensary Ban Starts Sept. 6: L.A. Moves Forward With Pot Shop Closures
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The City Attorney's Office is working on the ordinance. There is no set timetable for the City Attorney's Office to complete its work.

Meanwhile, the group Americans for Safe Access tells the Weekly that, now that this ban is headed for the books, its own city referendum to gather signatures and place a measure on the city ballot that would overturn the ban is full-steam-ahead.

Organizers will start gathering signatures, and they need 27,425 of them from valid, registered L.A. city voters, "soon," said ASA spokesman Kris Hermes.

But he tells us he doubts the city will have the balls will to enforce the measure.

And note here that previous City Council laws, such as an ordinance requiring condom use at location porn shoots in L.A., continue to go unenforced or are rarely put into action. Past city moves to regulate pot shops have resulted in more dispensaries, not less, it seems.

Hermes:

The City Attorney's office so far has said in large part they hope for voluntary compliance, so I don't know to what extent the city's going to try and enforce it.

If, in the background, we have a referendum campaign that will likely overturn the ordinance, another potential proposition on the table, it doesn't make sense to move ahead with enforcement at this point.

Sounds like a dare to us.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]


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