LA City Council approves new medical marijuana clinic rules
The L.A. City Council spent much of the past couple of years in a back-and-forth effort to come up with rules to govern medical marijuana dispensaries.
First, city council members discovered that nearly a thousand dispensaries had opened in Los Angeles after they'd imposed a moratorium on the facilities. It turned out the moratorium had a loophole, and new dispensaries were popping up like... well, like weeds.
The council moved to close hundreds of those dispensaries – and to close loopholes that might let some stay open. They passed a wide-ranging ordinance that governed who could dispense medical marijuana – and where.
The city's new medical marijuana ordinance passed a few months back would have wiped out all but 40. But many owners of legally registered dispensaries complained that they'd followed the city's rules – but still had to close.
Council member Janice Hahn led the effort to pull back the reins a bit. "We felt like our original ordinance needed to be clarified a bit more so that the city attorney does not go after clinics that we think are legitimate."
Now the council is giving final approval to amendments that relax the rules a bit. Hahn says the city's intent is to have about 180 medical marijuana dispensaries operating legally in Los Angeles.
None of them are allowed within a thousand feet of schools and churches. The new ordinance gives dispensary operators six more months to comply.
Marijuana Dispensary Ban in Parts of LA & Orange Counties
The Los Angeles County Board Of Supervisors on on Tuesday will consider the proposal to ban medial marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas of the county, which would cover a territory with about a population of 1.5 millions people.
The motion is the first step toward revisiting the counties 4 year old policy on the dispensaries, which are allowed with strict rules on their locations, they cannot be within 1,000 feet of churches, day care centres, libraries and any other public places.
Some supervisors have expressed concern that the dispensaries could attract crime. Another factor on them is the city of LA’s recent aggressive push to shut down dispensaries that are illegal under a city ordinance that took effect four weeks ago, raising concern that the dispensaries would be searching for new homes.
How’s that “No on Prop 19″ working out for you, “Stoners Against Legalization”? You helped strike down an initiative that would have recognized a right to sell marijuana and would have prevented state and local agencies from interfering with lawfully cultivated cannabis. Sure, LA and OC weren’t likely to open up any Prop 19 recreational-use stores, but the language of 19 would have given existing medical-use stores some better ammunition in court to defend themselves.
Medical marijuana dispensaries banned in unincorporated L.A. County
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 Tuesday to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas of the county.
The board also voted unanimously to develop a plan for stepped-up enforcement against shops that opened without a permit.
"Why don't you use everything you have to get them the hell out of unincorporated areas?" Supervisor Gloria Molina asked county staff.
Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky authored the proposal for stepped-up enforcement against a small number of unpermitted shops in unincorporated areas, but he said an outright ban would unfairly harm patients with a legitimate need. Yaroslavsky was the lone vote against the ban.
"This is not some sort of scheme or scam. This is not some sort of joke," Yaroslavsky said, noting that he had seen marijuana help friends afflicted with cancer.
The ban must be read again at a future meeting for final approval, and then would go into effect about 30 days later. Aides to Supervisor Mike Antonovich said the ban could be in place by the end of the year.
Medical marijuana dispensaries targeted in Orange County
Medical marijuana dispensaries and marijuana delivery services should be banned along with the sale and distribution of marijuana within unincorporated Orange County, according to a county staff recommendation to the Board of Supervisors.
The recommendation, which would impose a $1,000 fine per day for violations, is up for consideration at Tuesday’s board meeting.
Currently, Orange County does not have any laws on the books for regulating the permitting or establishment of medical marijuana collectives. The California attorney general set up guidelines that require dispensaries register as a nonprofit, obtain a seller’s permit and supply security, among other conditions.
The county’s lack of action to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries has created an opportunity in unincorporated Orange County where cooperatives are setting up shop without strict rules and regulations, county CEO Tom Mauk told supervisors in September.
“OC Public Works believes any land use permitting of medical marijuana stores, collectives and/or cooperatives would be a public health, safety and welfare concern and most likely lead to unequitable concentration of these uses with specific Orange County unincorporated areas,” OC Public Works DirectorJess Carbajal wrote in his recommendation.
The OC Public Works recommendation to ban medical marijuana collectives is echoed by Sheriff’s Department position that the bulk of collectives are selling to the general public, and therefore breaking California law.
Federal law bans the use, possession and sale of marijuana
Law enforcement officials accuse many dispensaries of hiding behind the guise of providing medicine to patients to operate highly profitable businesses that can pull in millions of dollars of profit a year.
Crimes at dispensaries are often not reported to law enforcement, Sheriff’s Lt. Adam Powell wrote in an Oct. 7 letter to Public Works, as a way to protect the business from detection.
But dispensaries’ large inventories of cash and drugs have made them attractive targets for armed robbers and burglars.
Four men in ski masks tunneled into a Laguna Hills dispensary from a neighboring business in April, Powell wrote. The dispensary had been broken into two weeks before, but the owner didn’t report it.
The owners of a Westminster medical marijuana dispensary were the victims of an armed takeover robbery, but did not report it and refused to cooperate with police, Powell wrote.
Marijuana storefronts have added bullet resistant glass, fortified locked doors and sophisticated surveillance equipment. Orange County dispensary owners have also been the target of home invasion robberies.
Pot Delivery Services Cropping Up Across California
As communities all across California are start to crack down on medical marijuana dispensaries a brand new and shiny company has emerged from the ashes, It is an online based dispensary that will deliver your medical marijuana right to your door step so long as you have a medical marijuana prescription otherwise that would just be out right dealing.
In the picture below a worker in a one room facility wearing her latex gloves pulls out four marvelous green buds from a vacuum sealed bag so that she can weigh them and have them sent on their way. The boss of this fine establishment goes by the name of Matthew Lawrence but we believe that that name is just a front for his online cannabis business.
This week, hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles face a deadline to close or risk criminal charges. And hundreds of other cities and towns in California have banned dispensaries altogether. No one's gone as far as Lawrence in trying to build a legal, statewide delivery network. He says his company named c420 has signed up 1,000 patients since April; some are seriously ill; others are what he calls "the suits." "They have families, kids who know parents who know each other. They see each other in the baseball field, and they really don't want to be seen going into a dispensary just because they have migraines, and they like to smoke a little marijuana once in a while in order to alleviate that condition, or whatever the condition might be," Lawrence says.
Worlds largest dispensary offers bonuses
Inside the place billed as the largest medical marijuana dispensary in the world, a cheerful "membership services manager" named Goose Duarte extols the many holistic services. There is a naturopathic primary care doctor, acupuncture, chiropractic care, yoga and Reiki, Japanese spiritual healing defined as "universal life force energy." There are also about 60 safety-tested and potency-labeled California marijuana strains.
The Harborside Health Center opened in October 2006 and now takes care of about 47,000 registered medical marijuana patients at its original Oakland location and a new dispensary in San Jose. It was founded by Steve DeAngelo, a former Hemp products importer, and Dave Wedding Dress, a peace and anti-nuclear activist.
On an average day at Oakland roughly 800 patients will queue up patiently until they get their chance to choose the medical marijuana of their choice. "We've brought the highest standards of both professionalism and activism to the medical cannabis community," DeAngelo says.
Not only is Harborside a center for medical marijuana, but there is a bonus for those who take up the cause. Harborside offers a free gram of medical pot a week for every hour volunteered in support of issues on behalf of medical marijuana patients. This is a deal that im sure 90% of their patients could not refuse.
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