Last month, Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office sent closure letters to 400 medical marijuana dispensaries, with the ultimate aim being to reduce medical cannabis outlets to 70, all of which would be located in industrial areas.

Although the true number of dispensaries currently operating is unknown, due to the fact that many are small one-man operations that don’t advertise their existence, there are believed to be around 1,000 currently operating.  A reduction to 70 is, therefore, an enormous cutback in outlets.

Of the 400 dispensaries ordered to close today, 186 medical marijuana dispensaries will be able to remain open; these are organizations that opened before the November 2007  Medical Marijuana Interim Control Ordinance was issued.  Nevertheless, by December of this year they will be required to comply with the strict zoning regulations of the new rules. Violations of the new system are likely to incur fines of up to $2,500 per day.

The 186 dispensaries that have been allowed to remain open must file a Medical Marijuana Dispensary Notice of Intent to Register following which they will be put on the Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Priority List.

The completed Notice of Intent to Register Form with copies of all required documentation attached (refer to the Form for a complete list of documents required), must be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office within one week of the operative date of Ordinance No. 181069, June 7 to June 14, 2010. NO APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED PAST 4:00 P.M. DAILY.

Marijuana Dispensary Zoning rules include:

  1. Dispensaries must be at least 1,000 feet away from schools, public parks, public libraries, religious institutions, and other marijuana dispensaries.
  2. Dispensaries must not be situated ‘on a lot abutting, across the street or alley from, or having a common corner with a residentially zoned lot or a lot improved with residential use.
  3. When two or more dispensaries exist within the 1,000 feet limit, the priority list will be used to determine which one can remain in operation.

Notices of Intent to Register are available from:

Office of the City Clerk
200 N. Spring St. Room 395
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.

Where is it legal to use medical marijuana?


Author Dianne Morgan

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