October 13, 2011

Long Beach Bans Dispensaries, Continuing Calif. Trend

Dozens of California cities large and small have come out against medical pot in recent months, with some forcing existing dispensaries to leave town and others enacting bans that will prevent MMCs from setting up shop in the first place.

Now, it looks like the pot smoking paradise of Long Beach will follow suit, though not necessarily because locals don’t want medical marijuana in town.

The Long Beach City Council is looking to push forward a plan to both repeal the community’s MMJ law and completely ban dispensaries. The moves come after an appeals court essentially ruled that the city can’t regulate medical pot centers, as they are deemed illegal from a federal perspective.

That leaves the city with little choice but to abide by the law and shut its dispensaries down.

Long Beach, unlike other areas of California, has a relatively structured and expensive permit process, limiting the number of dispensaries and charging nearly $15,000 to get a permit and another $10,000 in additional fees annually. These types of regulations help provide an organized infrastructure and limit shady players from opening stores. But that didn’t persuade the judge, who was looking at it from a more fundamental level.

This might not be the end of the matter, however, as the City Council will appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.

 

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