Today was the day L.A.'s loathed ban on medical marijuana dispensaries was to start.
But yesterday was the day that the L.A. City Attorney's office, long a foe of weed sellers across town, admitted that this ban ain't happening for now. Official so.
The office released a letter by none other than City Hall attorney-in-chief Carmen Trutanich that acknowledges the reprieve:
The City Attorney's office will not enforce the City Council's ban for at least 15-30 days from Aug. 30, which is when backers of a referendum that seeks to overturn to the prohibition turned in almost double the amount of signatures they needed to put the matter before voters.
The City Council now must weigh whether to allow you to vote on overturning the ban or put the brakes on it through its own vote.
From the date the referendum petition was received and throughout the time it will take for the City Clerk to verify the signatures on the referendum petition (estimated 15-45 days), the City Attorney's Office will not enforce Ordinance 182190. The ordinance may or may not remain suspended after the City Clerk's review depending on whether the City Clerk determines that the petition contains the required number of valid voter signatures.
So all you medicinal customers can exhale for now, except that … Trutanich warned, as has L.A. city Councilman Jose Huizar, who proposed the ban, that pot shops aren't really legal in L.A. regardless and can still be shot down by cops, who have been doing just that in parts of the San Fernando Valley:
… The business of medical marijuana continues to be an unpermitted land use in the City. Further, as stated on all City business tax registration certificates, a tax registration certificate does not constitute a license, permit, or land use approval; it is solely a tax collection document.
But here's the bottom line: For the most part the city doesn't have the resources to shut down all of our esteemed cannabis retailers. You can breath easy for now.