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Visualizing the Debate Over Marijuana Dispensary Locations

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, December 11, 2009, at 11:01AM
Marijuana Dispensary Buffer -- 1000 Feett blogdowntown / Cartifact, Inc.

1,000 FOOT BUFFER: This map of Downtown shows areas that are 1,000 feet or more from residential uses in green. Council is considering where to allow medical marijuana dispensaries, and distance from residential uses is one factor.

A proposed ordinance governing the location and operation of medical marijuana dispensaries in the City of Los Angeles was again put on hold this week, as Council wrestled to find a balance between access and control. A requirement that dispensaries be 1,000 feet away from residential uses proved contentious on Wednesday, with Councilmembers split.

That got blogdowntown wondering, just what does a 1,000 foot buffer around residential projects look like?

The maps above show 1,000, 500 and 200 foot buffers around residential uses Downtown. They are not an exact visualization of where dispensaries could be located -- they don't include buffers around substance abuse center and may not include all residential hotels -- but they're more than the City Council has to work with.

The City's planning department is working on creating maps of the ordinance's effects, but they won't be ready until January.

There are currently an estimated 800 to 1,000 dispensaries operating around the City, most of which came into being after the City passed a 2007 ordinance forbidding new outlets until permanent rules could be developed.


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