What's the future of LA's marijuana dispensaries?
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, May, 29th 2013 by THCFinder
David Welch has been fighting the city of Los Angeles and its attempts to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries for more than five years. An attorney who represents more than 40 dispensaries in the city, Welch said the passage of Measure D by L.A. voters last week makes that fight a lot tougher now.
“The public and the courts may no longer have a stomach for endless marijuana litigation,” Welch said. “People want it to be done.”
That does not mean his clients are not considering a lawsuit challenging Measure D, which allows only the 135 dispensaries that first registered with the city in 2007. Welch argues that’s an unfair and arbitrary way to regulate businesses.
But he and others who follow the legal battles say the California Supreme Court’s recent ruling allowing cities to ban dispensaries outright make legal challenges to local regulations more difficult. Welch is issuing a new warning to the pot shops he advises that are among the 135.
“I’m advising them that when Measure D goes into effect, they are obligated to close,” he said. Several of Welch’s clients declined to be interviewed.
Estimates vary widely on the number of pot shops affected.
For now, some appear to be operating as if there was no election. Because of the nature of the business, no one at a dispensary agreed to be quoted. But one man who answered the phone at a downtown L.A. shop seemed unconcerned.
“Everybody is just like, chill back. Ya know, it's like normal," he said.
He said he’s seen the city go after pot shops before.
“It's pretty much like a threat, trying to scare people. But it doesn’t happen,” he said.
City officials said this time is different. It’s the first time voters have enacted a limit, said Special Assistant City Attorney Jane Usher. She is overseeing the enforcement of Measure D.
Read more: http://www.scpr.org
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