Enforcement of Proposition D, a law passed by the voters of Los Angeles, threatens to close many medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the city. The law limits the number of legal dispensaries to no more than 135. The 135 remaining dispensaries must have been in operation since 2007 and must adhere to a number of new regulations and pay increased taxes on gross revenue.
The City Attorney for Los Angeles has also stated that, under the law, it will be illegal to work at a medical marijuana dispensary that is not on a list of authorized businesses. To make matters more confusing, many of the business are not sure if they are or are allowed to continue to operate, and, according to the city attorney, they have no means to appeal placement or non-placement on the list.
This new effort to shut down dispensaries throughout the city not only has a major effect on owners of these businesses but also on medical marijuana patients who have come to rely on these local dispensaries.
As a result of this recent enforcement effort, patients are forced to find other sources to obtain medical marijuana. According to a recent article in the LA Times, Boyle Heights is now home to a first of its kind marijuana farmers market.
The market requires that attendees show documents and identification to prove they are legally allowed to possess medical marijuana before gaining admission. Once in the marijuana farmers market, buyers have the opportunity to speak firsthand with growers and ask questions about the cultivation process, find out if harmful chemicals have been used, and, in many cases, get a considerable discount from the prices they had been paying at dispensaries.
The marijuana growers who now produce not only marijuana suitable for smoking, but also skin creams, oils, edible goods, and a variety of other products, are welcoming the opportunity to speak with patients firsthand to gain feedback.
While a cannabis farmers market appears to comply with all state and local regulations, a city official did note that the warehouse being used to host the market was not approved for retail sales and would need to apply for a change of use permit to comply with zoning laws.
While there is no question that a marijuana farmers market is a new experience for both growers and patients, this highlights the ever-changing legal landscape of the California medical marijuana business.
Our Southern California medical marijuana attorneys know that whether you are a dispensary owner facing potential shutdown of your business due to Proposition D enforcement, a marijuana grower trying to make a living, or patient trying to stay on the right side of the law, it is difficult to know what is and what is not legal. Every situation is different, and you should consult an attorney who regularly represents people on medial marijuana-related issues.
The CANNABIS LAW GROUP offers experienced and aggressive representation for those in the medical marijuana industry in Los Angeles and elsewhere throughout Southern California. Call 714-937-2050 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
Pot ‘farmers market’ in Boyle Heights off to a roaring start, July 6, 2014, Los Angeles Times
More Blog Entries:
Should California Medical Marijuana Distributors Be Subject to Food Safety Laws?, June 22, 2014, Cannabis Law Group’s Medical Marijuana Legal Blog