Monday, June 8, 2009

The Future of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries On City Council Agenda For Tuesday (But It Doesn't Matter Because Nothing Can Be Done Anyway)

On Tuesday, June 7, 2009 Los Angeles City Council will attempt to take control of the Medical Marijuana dispensaries that have been increasingly popping up all over the city. However, at the end of the day, Zuma Dogg does not believe there is much the city will be able to do in even shutting one dispensary down. They will, however, be coming up with an newly amended version of the Interim Control Ordinance (ICO) that will remove the "hardship exemption" that has allowed 500 co-ops to open up and remain operating, while the city evaluates the hardship exemption.

Councilmembers Dennis P. Zine, Ed Reyes, Jose Huizar, Janice Hahn and Eric Garcetti will be holding a 9:30am press conference probably to announce there is a new ordinance they will discussing on Tuesday during the Council meeting and the 2pm PLUM meeting.

Let's say they vote to remove the hardship exemption, which I am sure they will, when it eventually passes, if not tomorrow. Once the hardship exemption is removed, and the amended ordinance takes effect, the City would be able to enforce against dispensaries that open after that date.

SO THAT MEANS ANY NEW DISPENSARIES THAT OPEN AFTER IT IS APPROVED, SOON.

However, amending the ordinance will have NO EFFECT upon those dispensaries that have already filed for a hardship exemption! And OF COURSE will have no effect on any of the dispensaries that opened PRIOR to the original ICO on November 13, 2007.

SO ALL THIS WILL DO, is say, "No more dispensaries from here on in." But you already have all the ones already opened before the ICO, plus the 500 dispensaries awaiting a decision on the hardship exemption, you will not be affected.

Typically, when a business does not comply with LADBS (Building and Safety), LADBS refers the case to the City Attorney's office. The City Attorney's office, however, is not acceptiong and filing any cases where the dispensary has filed for a hardship exemption.

HOWEVER, on Tuesday, Council will vote to shut down 14 of these "hardship exemption" filed dispensaries. And it will look like they shut 'em down. HOWEVER, that doesn't mean the club actually shuts down, and Zuma Dogg says the city is practically powerless to shut 'em down.

And so even when they vote to reject the hardship exemptions of these businesses, these are only 14 of 500...

BUT THE REAL ISSUE ARE ALL THE DISPENSARIES OPENING UP COMPLETELY ILLEGALLY. NOT EVEN FILING FOR HARDSHIP EXEMPTIONS, BUT JUST OPENING UP!

And why does ZD say nothing is going to happen to any of the dispensaries who open up, legally or otherwise?

First, you get a notice from building and safety. Then it is refereed to the city attorney's office. Then they have to do something and file and go through all the motions. Then it can be appealed. And that's just to close ONE dispensary.

So to be honest, once again, the city didn't handle this properly and it has snowballed out of control and now it's kinda too late. Unless you like the dispensaries. Then, it's about to become Los Amsterdam, CA

BOTTOM LINE: Unless you are a dispensary that is such a nuisance in the area that the whole neighborhood is complaining about it, you may get hassled. But other than that...

"So common down to Uncle Zuma Dogg's new medical marijuana dispensary, y'all. Because they're poppin' up all over the city anyway, and there's nothing they can do. Make a right at the church parking lot and a left at the school crosswalk."

The dispensaries the council will consider saying "NO" to on Tuesday were lucky enough to have the city send out a letter on Friday notifying them of the Tuesday meeting. Not a lot of time to check your mail or notify your attorney of plan to be there. (Plus, how did L.A. Times already report that these are all, or most, are expected to be rejected. If they knew that already, wouldn't that have to be a Brown Act violation? Think about it? A consensus already?)

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