by David Downs
Some 229 Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensaries have made the deadline to join the city's pot club permit lottery. One hundred clubs will randomly win a permit to serve the estimated three million citizens in the city. Critics note that a lottery — as opposed to a merit-based system — all but ensures some irresponsible owners will get a coveted permit.
Los Angeles also plans to tax medical marijuana sales at 5 percent on top of the state sales tax of 8.75 percent. The tax went before voters Tuesday. The city has taken fifteen years to regulate local clubs, and while city leaders dithered, unregulated clubs proliferated, creating violence and making LA the poster child for opponents of medical marijuana nationwide.