500 MMJ Dispensaries Shuttered in LA, City Attorney Says

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Medical marijuana dispensary competition in Los Angeles is apparently shrinking.

The city claims it has succeeded in shutting down the vast majority of illegal dispensaries, with possibly more closures on the way.

City Attorney Mike Feuer estimated this week that officials have helped close 500 dispensaries since 2013, when local voters passed a measure capping the number of MMJ centers. At the time, the city estimated there were 700 dispensaries operating in Los Angeles.

Now, the city says there are roughly 120 dispensaries are operating within the bounds of the law, but that number could fluctuate because the city is “constantly reevaluating” its rules for marijuana shops, a local TV station reported. More illegal dispensaries – perhaps hundreds – could still be operating and might continue to pop up, as the city has struggled to identify and track them all.

Feuer has been on a crusade against illegal cannabis businesses since a new ordinance, Proposition D, was approved by voters in 2013, which capped the number of legal dispensaries at 135. He hasn’t only targeted dispensaries, but also at least one smartphone app that facilitates home MMJ delivery.

Feuer isn’t the only California official trying to crack down on the industry. Just this week, a prominent testing lab was raided in Pasadena, to the northeast of L.A.