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Five of Eight Downtown Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Listed for Closure by City Clerk

By David Markland
Published: Monday, August 30, 2010, at 05:34PM
Medical Marijuana Chuck Coker [Flickr]

Six months after the city passed a sweeping new ordinance designed to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries, the legal landscape for the pot shops remains cloudy.

Last week, the City Clerk's office released a list announcing that 128 of the 169 medical marijuana shops that had registered under a 2007 interim control ordinance were not eligible to remain legally open.

That list included five of eight dispensaries Downtown, but even the three listed as eligible may not be legally in the clear. All three appear to violate ordinance restrictions that would keep such businesses no less than 1,000 feet from schools, churches, parks, and other sensitive locations.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the City Attorney's office has decided that only dispensaries who have the exact same owners and management as they did when they originally registered can stay open.

Without specifics or enforcement, the number of dispensaries blossomed from 183 at the time of the 2007 interim ordinance to over 700 before the new ordinance was passed.

Nearly all of those new shops closed once the permanent rules went into effect in July, but the new action takes aim at the established operators that complied with the interim terms.

The five Downtown dispensaries currently listed as ineligible to register are the Arts District Healing Center, Care California Consultation Inc., Chinatown Patient Collective, Holistic Healing Alternatives, and the Los Angeles Wellness Center. While these businesses may have been listed as ineligible for additional ordinance violations, a change of owner or manager was among the reasons cited by the city.

The three dispensaries that remain open appear to be at ineligible locations.

City Compassionate Caregivers, at 604 E. 4th, is approximately 700 feet from Centenary United Methodist Church. The Organic Century Farmacy, at 404 W. 7th, is roughly 400 feet from a synagogue and 600 feet from Pershing Square. Downtown Collective, at 1600 S. Hill is directly across the street from the Friedman Occupational Center.

Don't expect this issue to find closure any time soon. Dispensaries have filed 32 lawsuits against the city.

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