The Los Angeles City Council on Friday approved the final piece of is medical marijuana ordinance, a move that will put most of L.A.'s pot shops out of business beginning in June.
By voting to establish regulatory fees for the city's marijuana dispensaries, the council set into motion a countdown to the virtual banishment of most of L.A.'s 545 pot shops, which will not meet new, stricter standards about how far the businesses can be from churches, schools, playgrounds and other "sensitive use" sites. The shops cannot be directly adjacent to residential properties either.
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The 1,000-foot buffer zone will make most of the dispensaries illegal when the law finally takes effect June 4. L.A. will likely be left with 187 dispensaries, a number the council hopes to see whittled down even further. There is, however, a lawsuit challenging the city's right to shut down the businesses. Americans for Safe Access has sought a restraining order to prevent the law from taking effect.
"I am pleased that this final action will give us the opportunity to begin implementing a medical marijuana ordinance in the city of Los Angeles that we believe is both prudent and fair," Councilman Ed Reyes said.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is expected to sign the ordinance into law on April 27.
-With reporting from City News Service.