With L.A. Dispensary Ban On Hold, What Now?



Last week, Los Angeles medical marijuana patients and their allies turned in about 50,000 signatures to halt a new City Council ban on dispensaries, which was scheduled to take effect Thursday. Today, the clubs are open for business, and while the city says it still doesn't permit them, dispensaries should be paying their taxes, Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich wrote in this September 5th letter suspending the dispensary ban.

The ban is suspended for at least 15 days while the City counts the signatures, he writes. Meanwhile, "... applicable City and state laws will continue to be enforced by the City Attorney's Office, as well as other law enforcement and regulatory agencies."

An unregulated L.A. pot shop
  • The Atlantic
  • An unregulated L.A. pot shop

That means the D.E.A. can raid whoever it wants, whenever it wants. The D.E.A.'s priorities in L.A. tend to include clubs breaking both state and federal law by making excessive profits; exporting to other states; or engaging in black market sales, sales to minors, or sales to people without a valid doctor's note for pot.

Given extremely limited resources, local marijuana law enforcement — like all local government — will likely be complaint-driven. Trutanich's letter even concludes with the LAPD Narcotics hotline phone number specifically for "complaints about medical marijuana businesses".

Nothing gets a neighbor's hackles up like double-parkers blocking the driveway and blunt wrap litter on the porch. So keep it clean, L.A.