LA County Extends Medical Cannabis Growing Ban

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Los Angeles County supervisors voted to extend a temporary ban on medical marijuana cultivation and distribution in unincorporated areas by one year, dealing yet another blow to MMJ cultivators.

The new moratorium also bars growing and testing of medical marijuana as well as mobile delivery services, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The issue dates to February, when county supervisors voted for a temporary ban on growing medical marijuana, and agreed to study a permanent ban. They then passed a 45-day ban in April and a 30-day ban in May before Tuesday’s vote.

County planning officials said the moratorium was needed so they can study how to regulate the marijuana industry. MMJ dispensaries already are banned in the county’s unincorporated areas.

California voters will get to decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana in a referendum in November. It’s not clear how legalization would affect the county ban.

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, the one supervisor who voted against extending the ban, asked county staffers to draft regulations before any change in state law occurs, such as new environmental rules governing cultivation. Supervisors are reportedly considering other measures, including a local ballot measure on taxing marijuana sales.