LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles city clerk says medical marijuana advocates have gathered enough verified signatures for a ballot referendum that would stop the forced closure of dispensaries and overturn a ban on new pot clinics in the city.

The clerk said in a statement Monday that the referendum surpassed the minimum of 27,425 signatures required.

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By Oct. 7, the City Council must now do one of three things: call a special election for the measure, repeal it themselves or put it on the March 2013 ballot.

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The council had approved an ordinance that would’ve shuttered hundreds of pot shops by Sept. 6, but put it on hold, and will remain that way until either city voters or council members vote on the ban.

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