LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles have been warned – close by Sept. 6 or face court action and fines.
The City Attorney’s office mailed letters to 1,046 suspected dispensary locations and to 728 landlords to close by Sept. 6, the day a new ordinance goes into effect. For every day a marijuana dispensary remains open, they face court action and a $2,500 fine.
The City Council voted in July to ban storefront marijuana dispensaries, citing a lack of clarity on how the city can legally regulate the distribution of medical cannabis and the potential threat of federal legal action against the city. The council’s vote allows primary caregivers and patients to grow and transport marijuana.
Under the new ordinance, two or three patients are allowed to collectively grow and share marijuana in homes or apartments, but not storefronts.
The letter from Chief Deputy City Attorney William Carter warns dispensaries that each day they remain open beyond that date is a separate violation of the law and a misdemeanor subject to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.
Medical marijuana supporters, led by Americans for Safe Access, have been collecting signatures in an effort to put a referendum on the March or June citywide election ballot to repeal the law.
“The tens of thousands of patients harmed by this vote will not take it sitting down,” Americans for Safe Access California Director Don Duncan said last month. “We will campaign forcefully to overturn this poor decision by the council.”