L.A. to Shutter Hundreds of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

?Studio City has 28,000 residents and we have 13 medical marijuana dispensaries. They?re all basically on Ventura Boulevard within armshot of each other. I can?t imagine how this could be necessary.?

But Sarkin questioned the city?s ability to inspect dispensaries amid budget cuts. ?I?m going to ask you: How are you going to enforce anything without a budget??

More than 120 cities in California have an outright ban on medical marijuana dispensaries, according to statistics kept by Americans for Safe Access, the largest medical marijuana advocacy organization in the United States. There are more than 30 city ordinances. The L.A. ordinance may be especially restrictive.

"It's somewhat of a bittersweet victory," said Kris Hermes, a spokesperson for ASA. "It's important the city regulate medical dispensaries but the ordinance has some very onerous property restrictions which threaten to shrink the number of facilities into the single digits."

But it will take several weeks for the ordinance to take effect.

It must first go to L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who said he will sign the ordinance. "This legislation isn't perfect, but the Mayor feels it is a step in the right direction,? said his spokesperson Sarah Hamilton.

Then the council must decide on fees the collectives pay for inspection. That process is expected to take at least 45 days.

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