“Draft temporary urgency ordinance” would permit 100 Los Angeles medical marijuana collectives

As our Los Angeles medical marijuana collective attorneys reported recently on our Marijuana Lawyer Blog, council’s “draft temporary urgency ordinance” is well-named.

It is certainly a rough-draft. It is temporary in that it has little chance of passing legal muster. And it is urgent, if that means rash. Having been handed a series or legal defeats, council is now attempting to draft a second ordinance limiting the number of Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensaries before it has a clear understanding of the legal problems of the ordinance now being litigated by more than 200 plaintiffs in more than 40 lawsuits.
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The lawsuits attacked the arbitrary date in September 2007 chosen by council after which new dispensaries could not been legally opened. And it challenged the requirement that the original owners and managers still be involved with the business. That requirement was so problematic that fewer than 50 of the city’s 500 dispensaries could have complied. Imagine requiring convenience stores to never replace management or change ownership.

Both requirements remain in the new “draft temporary urgency ordinance.”

And so, the city is now requiring anyone seeking “grandfathering status” to ride on down to the Clerk of Courts, bring all the required documentation and fees, and reapply — no sooner than 10 days nor no later than 15 after the effective date of the “draft temporary urgency ordinance.”

We hope all members of council will pile into a subcompact for several hundred rides back and forth to the courthouse as city attorneys are forced to deal with this latest legislative disaster.

The city does say if a collective was registered in 2007, and registered in 2010 as part of the first ordinance, a third registration is not required. But last year’s registration revealed the city’s record and administrative process was in such shambles, who really knows?

The “draft temporary urgency ordinance” also includes the same lottery system to ensure at least 100 collectives will be allowed to remain in operation. It was never anticipated the lottery would need to be conducted but the ordinance has proven so restrictive that fewer than 50 collectives would be able to comply and survive.

The city announces this 100 number is “roughly consistent” with the number tossed about during public hearings. So at least there is that for comfort. Nothing arbitrary about a figure that is “roughly consistent” with one that might have been mentioned at a public hearing once.

It does say “city resources” will be severely constrained and more than 100 cannot be considered “at this time of municipal fiscal crisis.”

Though, apparently defending the city against 40 lawsuits is feasible, as is opening the city up to 40 more through quickly establishing a “draft temporary urgency ordinance.”

Check back for more on this ordinance in our next blog.

The CANNABIS LAW GROUP offers experienced and aggressive representation to the medical marijuana industry in Southern California– including growers, dispensaries and collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call 714-937-2050 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.