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Marijuana Clinic Coming to 6th and Spring?

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, May 29, 2009, at 09:57AM
215 W. 6th #115 Eric Richardson [Flickr]

The lessees of this retail space on Spring street intend to operate a marijuana clinic, and have filed hardship exemption paperwork with the city.

UPDATE (Wednesday): The clinic did open this week, with blacked out windows and only the facility's address and hours on the exterior.

A marijuana clinic could soon open on the ground floor of the SB Manhattan at 6th and Spring, one of nearly five hundred to open since the city passed a moratorium designed to prevent the spread of new dispensaries while regulations could be put in place.

An application for such an operation was filed with the city earlier this month. A peek through gaps in the papered-over storefront shows a finished interior build-out, but an email provided to blogdowntown yesterday afternoon indicated that building owner Barry Shy claims ignorance of his tenant's plans and does not approve of such a use.

City ordinance 179027, which went into effect in the fall of 2007, prohibits new marijuana dispensaries from opening in the city of Los Angeles. It was intended to allow the city time to craft rules to govern the facilities, which multiplied after the 1996 passage of SB 215 (The Compassionate Use Act).

Included in the ordinance was a hardship exemption, which allows the City Council to "grant an exemption from the provisions of this ordinance in cases of hardship duly established to the satisfaction of the City Council."

Jose P. Lopez and Howard Enrique filed an application for a hardship exemption with the city on May 7. Hundreds of similar exemption applications are currently pending before City Council.

In April, Councilman Jose Huizar made a motion asking that the hardship exemption be stricken from the moratorium. That motion is scheduled to be heard by the council's Planning and Land Use Management committee on June 2.

In the lead-up to that date, applications had been flooding in. Huizar's motion said that 287 applications were pending before council, but a search of the City Clerk's database shows that 211 more have been filed since its introduction. Were the Huizar motion passed, these applications would be unaffected.

Other recent Downtown applications filed since Huizar's motion was introduced include Care California in the Oviatt Building at 643 S. Olive, the Herbal Love Cooperative at 748 S. San Pedro, Downtown Discount Caregivers at 111 E. 9th, Big Green Ants at 417 S. Hewitt and Herbalade at 904 E. 4th.

Building owner Barry Shy has gotten in trouble for his leases before. In May of 2007 a video store carrying a large percentage of adult titles opened in the corner retail space of Shy's Bartlett Building at 7th and Spring. Once residents complained, Shy claimed that he had been unaware what the shop sold and that he had terminated its lease.


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