LA: Only 41 Pot Dispensaries Can Stay Open

City facing flood of lawsuits after strict ruling
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2010 5:57 AM CDT
"Budista" Angela Nagel takes information from a client at Starbudz medical marijuana dispensary in North Hollywood.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
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(Newser) – Los Angeles may soon be facing a major shortage of marijuana dispensaries. City officials have taken a much stricter than expected approach to an ordinance regulating dispensaries and ruled that only 41 can stay open—less than a quarter of the 180 who were allowed to apply for permits to stay in business, and a fraction of the hundreds that existed before the ordinance was passed earlier this year. The ordinance aimed to cap the number of dispensaries at 70.

City attorneys who drafted the ordinance say they're surprised by the city clerk's ruling, and plan to stave off a flood of lawsuits by asking a judge to determine whether the process was appropriate. Outraged dispensary owners who have been told they may have to shut down complain that they haven't even been told why they're not eligible for a permit. "I'm not going to take this lying down," the manager of one ineligible dispensary tells the Los Angeles Times. "This is ridiculous. They have screwed up one thing after another."

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