Los Angeles Measure D Wins, Dispensaries Must Fight for Survival

It appears that Measure D has gained enough voter support to pass in Los Angeles.

That means that while the city will have more than 100 dispensaries grandfathered in per a set of strict guidelines, the vast majority face immediate closure.
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Our Los Angeles marijuana dispensary lawyers know that any marijuana distribution operation in the city that opened after September 2007 can expect to receive a cease and desist letter from the city within the next two weeks.

If your dispensary is among those facing closure in Los Angeles, retaining the Cannabis Law Group is among your best hopes for remaining open. We intend to take these cases to a judge, requesting that the court allow the dispensary in question to remain open.

There are two primary arguments on which we intend to base our request. Neither is definitively guaranteed to be effective, but we firmly believe that this will be the last best chance for those who are willing to fight.

The first of these arguments involves the position that Measure D is in violation of the intent of both the Compassionate Use Act and the California Medical Marijuana Program. The reason is that it prevents patients from having safe access to affordable medication. Consider that if Measure D is enacted without issue, that would amount to an 80 percent reduction in the number of marijuana dispensaries in the city, leaving 135 dispensaries – or fewer – to service Los Angeles. The city currently has a total population of 3.8 million, with an estimated 350,000 of those medical marijuana patients. That’s more than 2,500 patients or more per dispensary. The figure will inevitably grow as the population does. This is going to not only create monopolies, it will result in so few collectives servicing so many patients that lines will snake around the block.

The second argument centers on a claim of discrimination against persons with disabilities. When you have a numerical cap of 135 dispensaries, there will be no fair competition. That means prices will skyrocket. That means safe access is going to be limited. This argument would be made under the California Disabled Persons Act, which is the state version of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Alternatively, if neither of these options are effective, our next option would be to help dispensaries keep their doors open by operating as collectives, rather than as dispensaries. It’s true that the recent California Supreme Court Ruling allows that cities are legally free and clear to ban or limit dispensaries. That ruling does NOT give local authorities the right to ban collectives.

So rather than dispense the medicine directly from your current location, as a collective, you would use your storefront as an showroom for the medicine and any information pertaining to it. The medicine could be purchased at the collective, but it would have to be delivered elsewhere.

At the very least, your Los Angeles dispensary should invest in an initial consultation, regardless of when you first opened or what your ultimate plans. We can help balance your legal footing.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

Additional Resources:
Voters Approve Medical Marijuana Measure D, May 22, 2013, By Samantha Tata, NBC Los Angeles
More Blog Entries:
Los Angeles Marijuana Measure D Gets L.A. Times Endorsement, May 15, 2013, Los Angeles Cannabis Lawyer Blog