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Marijuana Dispensary Bans in L.A., Long Beach Could be Averted With Tweaked Rules For Pot Shops?

Los Angeles could be on the verge of banning its trademark marijuana dispensary business. And all because of a California court decision that struck down the way cities like L.A. regulate their pot shops.

In Pack v. City of Long Beach, the 2nd District court said cities like Long Beach (and by association L.A.) couldn't limit dispensaries by holding lotteries and zoning them the way they do.

The Long Beach Collective Association said today it has the cure, and that the city of Long Beach is taking the proposal seriously:

The association says it is recommending an amendment to Long Beach's pot shop law ...

... that would allow the current ordinance to remain functional under the evolving California law. This "third option" was drafted by the LBCA's legal team at the request of Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal, and several other Councilmembers at the November 1st Council meeting.

The association did not outline exactly what changes would enable Long Beach to slip by the court ruling. (We have a call in to it seeking clarification).

The group says that the L.B. City Attorney next week will propose banning dispensaries in the city altogether (Jose Huizar-style).

Association "advocate" Carl Kemp states that they have the last-minute savior:

This document amends the current ordinance in a way in which we believe allows the City of Long Beach to be in compliance with the rulings in the 'Pack decision', and allows those collectives that were authorized under the current ordinance to continue to exist.

The group contends that some collectives have spent hundreds of thousands if not millions applying for permits and constructing their storefronts in a way that complies with the struck-down city ordinance.

It argues a ban would be a loss for both city coffers and the 40 or so pot-business owners in the LBC

The organization also cites a widely debunked (so debunked that it was retracted) RAND study claiming dispensaries seem to reduce crime.

The association is calling its amending a "third option" for Long Beach. If it works perhaps L.A. could see it as a savior for this city's doomed dispensary industry.

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@dennisjromero

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