Medical marijuana advocates may have thought that they’ve finally found their home in Los Angeles, but this week’s decision may have turned things around completely. The Los Angeles City Council has just voted to ban medical marijuana shops operating in their area. Until solid and satisfactory guidelines from the highest court can be presented to the state’s governing body, the fate of medical marijuana facilities will remain uncertain.
As soon as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signs the decision, medical marijuana facilities will only have 30 days to prepare and close shop. Letters will also be addressed to approximately 900 registered facilities informing them of the ban.
With this development, city officials say they are now more equipped to counter charges which may spring from aggrieved medical marijuana dispensaries owners. It also strengthens their authority to stop home health agencies and hospices from administering medical weed to patients.
State officials originally favored dispensaries providing the maximum number of operators should only be at 70. Due to legal challenges and subsequent rulings supporting the said dispensaries, there are now 762 existing facilities in Los Angeles alone and there could be at least 200 more which could open.
Medical marijuana clinics remain illegal under federal law which has prompted U.S. authorities to go after owners of shops and stop their operations.