Last night, the Long Beach City Council voted to ban collectives from the city. The 8-1 vote in favor of the ban came after almost 3 hours of deliberation and discussion between city council members, the City Attorney, the Police Chief, and the Mayor.
The decision bans collectives outright, with an exemption for 6 months for collectives who were approved under the city’s permitting program in 2010. The ban motion, proposed by Councilman Robert Garcia, protects collectives who participated in the city’s process “in good faith” while the California Supreme Court considers Long Beach’s appeal of the Pack decision. The city council will address the progress of these collectives after 4 months and determine whether they would like to extend the exemption or at that time decide to ban the collectives protected under the exemption as well.
There are currently 18 collectives which will be allowed to continue their operations within the city of Long Beach, and an estimated 25-35 which will be banned immediately. Police Chief Jim McDonnell asserted that the Long Beach Police Department could effectively shut down the “rogue” collectives in the next 45 days. Police will not be able to focus their efforts on the 18 exempt collectives for at least 6 months, potentially more if the council decides to extend their exemption.
While police will move in on the banned collectives within the next month and a half, City Prosecutor Doug Haubert explained that it could take up to 12 months to prosecute those who do not willingly close their doors.
Long Beach City Council had put off the vote twice before, but were finally able to come to a decision with votes from all nine council members on Tuesday.