September 18, 2012

LA Marijuana Dispensaries Get Reprieve as Medical Cannabis Referendum Qualifies for Ballot

Graphic for Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ban

The medical marijuana community in Los Angeles has successfully staved off a bid by the city to ban all cannabis dispensaries, at least for now.

On Monday, the City Clerk’s Office announced that supporters of a measure to overturn the ban collected enough valid signatures to force a referendum on the issue. The city now has three options: let voters decide the fate of the ban in the March 5 local elections, call for a separate, special election or completely repeal the ban.

The future is looking considerably brighter than it did just a few weeks ago, when many dispensaries were preparing to shut down after the Los Angeles City Council passed the ban over fears that the industry had grown out of control.

The future of MMJ in Los Angeles, however, is still in doubt. Locals could side with the city and vote to instate the ban if the issue does end up on the ballot. Alternatively, the city could modify its ban to exempt older dispensaries, which would still force hundreds of centers to close. And then there’s the more immediate threat from the city attorney, who is vowing to crack down on the industry despite the challenges to the ban.

At the very least, dispensaries now have a fighting chance of survival and can continue operating for at least a few months. And no matter what happens, the delay represents a victory for the medical cannabis industry in the face of some steep challenges. The effort to fight the ban was impressive, given that organizers had just a few days to collect the 27,425 valid signatures needed to force a referendum. In fact, they collected nearly double the number needed, and city election officials confirmed that roughly 49,000 were valid – a notably high percentage for an MMJ initiative (in similar cases as many as 50% of signatures have been deemed invalid).

Various sides of the industry teamed up in the effort, including a union representing dispensary workers, MMJ center owners and marijuana activists. This offers a textbook example of how the industry can rally to trigger political change.



  2. Good news! I can’t wait for the outcome when the votes are counted!

Post Your Comment:

Please note:
Comments are moderated by our editors who do their best to approve comments ASAP. As Marijuana Business Daily is focused on business, we approve comments that are specifically relevant to industry professionals. General opinions and questions about cannabis may not be posted.

New York Taking Applications for Medical Cannabis Business Licenses

Ready, set, go! Entrepreneurs can now apply for medical cannabis business licenses in New York, [click to continue...]

Video Statement Part of Settlement Tied to $100M Lawsuit

In an unusual legal settlement, a Colorado company has issued a video statement about its [click to continue...]

WA Gov. Signs Sweeping Bill Moving MMJ Into Rec Program

News about Washington medical cannabis dispensaries, state marijuana laws and marijiana businesses

Washington State’s MMJ program will officially be rolled into its recreational market after Gov. Jay [click to continue...]

Minnesota MMJ Companies Raise $30M

The two companies selected to grow and dispense medical cannabis in Minnesota have raised a [click to continue...]

Canadian MMJ Crackdown On the Way?

Medical marijuana businesses in Vancouver, British Columbia, may soon be in the city’s crosshairs. The [click to continue...]

Seed-to-Sale Tracking Trend Continues With New Mexico

seed to sale

An increasing number of states are requiring cannabis companies to track every plant from seed [click to continue...]

Oregon Catering to Cash-Carrying Cannabis Businesses

The agency in charge of overseeing Oregon’s recreational marijuana industry is planning to add a [click to continue...]

Bill Would Prevent Feds From Targeting Compliant MJ Companies

Cannabis business owners harassed by federal prosecutors despite operating legally in their respective states would [click to continue...]

Florida Medical Marijuana Measures Fizzle Out


An attempt to legalize medical marijuana in Florida this year via the state Legislature is [click to continue...]

Ohio Group Claims Sabotage in Legalization Efforts

An Ohio organization pushing for medical marijuana legalization in the state says a stronger, more [click to continue...]

California Industry Association Head Faces Suit to Close Dispensary

A dispensary run by the president of the California Cannabis Industry Association has come under [click to continue...]

Oregon Expects 2,000 Applicants for Recreational MJ Licenses


Oregon officials in charge of regulating the state’s up-and-coming recreational marijuana industry expect roughly 2,000 [click to continue...]

Marijuana Testing Lab Seeks $5 Million for International Expansion

One of the first commercial cannabis testing labs in the United States is seeking $5 [click to continue...]

Anti-Marijuana DEA Chief to Resign

The head of the Drug Enforcement Agency will resign next month, prompting cheers from cannabis [click to continue...]

Marijuana Business Daily