The City Council adopted the Martinez-Huizar motion to add new processes and restrictions to curb ill effects on communities from illegal and non-compliant Medical Marijuana Dispensaries.
The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted for the motion, which helps stem the influx and negative impacts that non-Prop D compliant medical marijuana dispensaries (MMDs) are having in neighborhoods.
“We must continue to take action against the blight and nuisance activity that these non-compliant shops bring to my neighborhoods and the City at large,” said Nury Martinez, Councilwoman from the Sixth District. “The intent of the voters who passed Proposition D was to give access to medical marijuana to those who need it, not to inundate our neighborhoods with blight.”
Families and small businesses have raised concerns about neighborhood quality-of-life and safety issues that come from the illegal and non-compliant dispensaries located throughout the City. While the City Attorney and the Los Angeles Police Department have done good work shutting down many non-compliant dispensaries, that progress is stymied by other new non-compliant MMD’s opening up.
“We are issuing BTRCs to dispensaries that are operating illegally and using these tax certificates as a ruse to fool property owners and the public that they are legitimate businesses, when they clearly are not,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “We need to respect and honor Proposition D, the voters who approved it and the legitimate medical marijuana collectives that are adhering to its guidelines.”
In 2013, City of Los Angeles’ voters approved Proposition D, which set standards that would allow no more than 134 medical marijuana collectives already in existence to legally operate free of prosecution. The Martinez/Huizar motion was introduced in December 2014 and previously heard in the City’s Budget and Finance Committee, since the Office of Finance issues BTRCs to allow for taxes to be collected from City of Los Angeles businesses.
Wednesday’s vote calls for a recommendation that the Office of Finance cease giving out BTRCs for medical marijuana operations, since the eligible collectives are already on the books and no new operation would meet Proposition D’s standards.
Other recommendations include requiring the City Attorney to report on an ordinance that would make it illegal to display an expired BTRC for the purpose of misleading the public; and, consistent with City of Los Angeles Proposition M (Taxation of Medical Marijuana Collectives), an ordinance prohibiting an MMD from displaying a BTRC of a different category.
The motion was adopted on a 13-0 vote.