Los Angeles is bringing out the big guns to enforce a controversial measure enacted last year that bans most of the city’s marijuana dispensaries.
The city has hired two attorneys to focus solely on prosecuting dispensary owners who have not complied with the new law, called Proposition D.
Officials also are warning landlords and real estate professionals not to work with illegal dispensaries – threatening fines and even jail time if they help MMJ business owners break the law, according to the Los Angeles Times. Additionally, the city is training police officers to identify illegal dispensaries.
The moves signal that Los Angeles is serious about cracking down on cannabis businesses that are violating Prop D.
The measure, approved by voters last year, effectively bans all but 135 dispensaries in Los Angeles that registered with the city prior to a 2007 moratorium.
Enforcement has proved challenging: Most of the city’s estimated 700-plus dispensaries remain open, and in fact new ones launch every week.
The Los Angeles city attorney’s office said about 100 MMJ centers have closed since the law passed. However, some of those likely moved and reopened under-the-radar in other areas of the city.
On Tuesday, federal and local officials raided several medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles owned by the same man, though it appears the action was not specifically related to Prop D.