More than 100 L.A. marijuana dispensaries have shut down since authorities began to enforce a city law that outlaws about 90 percent of such shops, and more will be targeted, the City Attorney's office and the LAPD announced today.
There's still a long way to go: With rough estimates of 1,000 weed retailers in town, and some still trying to open, prosecutors and police have an uphill battle to whittle that number down to the 135 or less that were granted limited immunity by voters who approved Prop. D last year.
But they have new help. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said he would increase enforcement. And:
The City Attorney's office said today that it has hired two new prosecutors just to crack down on illicit dispensaries that refuse to close their doors.
And it's not just dispensaries that are facing the long arm of the law, City Attorney's spokesman Rob Wilcox told us: Property owners could also be taken to court.
The office said in a statement that City Attorney Mike Feuer has “filed criminal charges against hundreds of defendants including dispensary owners, operators, managers and property owners.”
Feuer and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said in a news conference today that they were redoubling “collaborative” efforts to shut down illicit shops.
The City Attorney's office also appeared to offer an olive branch to shops that want to comply with the law. It will “assist real estate professionals and landlords on how they can comply with Propostion D,” the office stated.
At the same time, Beck said, there would be more cops busting dispensaries:
… We are significantly increasing the number of LAPD officers trained in Proposition D enforcement protocols, and we will subsequently increase the number of cases we submit for prosecution.