On Monday, Los Angeles City Clerk June Lagmay announced that an initiative that would cut down the number of medical marijuana collectives in the city has been approved to move forward to the signature collection phase.
The initiative would allow only the medical marijuana collectives that existed since before the city’s 2007 moratorium was put into place to remain open. This would mean that the number of Los Angeles marijuana shops would be cut from approximately 1,000 to just under 150.
Signature collectors are hoping to gather enough support to get the initiative onto the May 21st ballot, which is when the city’s new mayor will be elected.
In order to get the initiative onto the ballot, organizers need to gather 41,138 valid signatures by December 7th. Organizers of the initiative include the Greater Los Angeles Collective Alliance.
The initiative summary reads:
This ordinance regulated associations of six or more qualified patients and/or primary caregivers who cultivate, process, distribute, deliver, or give away marijuana to an unlimited number of members for medical purposes (MMCs). Te ordinance exempts from the regulation, among others, associations of five or fewer qualified patients and/or primary caregivers who process or cultivate medical marijuana on-site for themselves, their qualified patients, or for MMCs. The ordinance prohibits MMCs, but provides limited immunity from enforcement of the ordinance for all MMCs that: operated as of September 14, 2007; timely registered with the City; have not ceased operations for 90 days except to relocate or in response to federal action; provide no ingress/egress from adjacent residential zoned lots; pass annual LAPD background checks; and after 300 days maintain a certain distance from schools, parks, and other designated places. The ordinance establishes operating standards, enforceable as infractions. If the City adopts permit regulations for MMCs, the ordinance requires the City to issue permits to all MMCs immunized by this ordinance.
There is another proposed initiative that is not as far along in the process that would allow all medical marijuana collectives in Los Angeles to remain in operation, with the exception of those which are too close to schools or parks.
The organizers of both initiatives are trying to provide a more concrete set of regulations for medical marijuana shops to create more structure within the city’s medical marijuana community. Organizers believe that this will put city officials at ease and will stop future attempts at an outright ban on medical marijuana collectives.