One of two initiatives that wants to regulate marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles was approved for signature gathering. This one wants to cut the number of shops to 128 or so.
Los Angeles City Clerk June Lagmay announced today that an initiative that would limit dispensaries in town to those that existed continuously since a September 14, 2007 moratorium has been approved for the next step in the process.
Organizers, including the Greater Los Angeles Collective Alliance, are aiming for the May 21 ballot:
The City Clerk's office says organizers need 41,138 valid signatures by December 7 in order to be verified in time for the ballot.
The summary of the initiative reads:
This ordinance regulates associations of six or more qualified patients and/or primary caregivers who cultivate, process, distribute, deliver, or give away marijuana to an unlimited number of members for medical purposes (MMCs). The ordinance exempts from the regulation, among others, associations of five or fewer qualified patients and/or primary caregivers who process or cultivate medical marijuana on-site for themselves, their qualified patients, or for MMCs. The ordinance prohibits MMCs, but provides limited immunity from enforcement of the ordinance for all MMCs that: operated as of September 14, 2007; timely registered with the City; have not ceased operations for 90 days except to relocate or in response to federal action; provide no ingress/egress from adjacent residential zoned lots; pass annual LAPD background checks; and after 300 days maintain a certain distance from schools, parks, and other designated places. The ordinance establishes operating standards, enforceable as infractions. If the City adopts permit regulations for MMCs, the ordinance requires the City to issue permits to all MMCs immunized by this ordinance.
By using September, 2007 as a baseline, this law would severely cut down the number of pot shops, from as many as 1,000 or so to about 128.
The other initiative aiming for the same ballot is much more inclusive and simply aims to weed out shops, so to speak, that are too close to schools and parks.
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Otherwise those that file the proper paperwork with the city, adhere to basic rules (closing at 10 p.m. or before), and have all employees and operators undergo background checks would be allowed to stay open under that second initiative.
The initiatives come in the wake of the demise of L.A.'s pot shop ban, which would seem to leave a regulatory vacuum for the city.
The organizers of these initiatives seem to want to fill that vacuum before the city tries to do it again.