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LA Council Mulls New Medical Pot Ordinance

The LA City Attorney has submitted a new, tough draft ordinance designed to regulate LA's growing legion of medical marijuana clinics. Were it to pass as written, it would be among the state's toughest ordinances governing cannabis clubs.

KCET has obtained a copy of the draft ordinance. It proposes to ban over-the-counter sales of pot, only allowing clinics, organized as collectives, to recoup expenses from their members. And it contains this language, regarding who can actually obtain cannabis from a collective:

No collective may provide medical marijuana to any persons other than its members who participate in the collective cultivation of marijuana at or upon the property of the collective.

The draft regulations redefine the application process, establish a series of application and inspection fees, set limitations on the hours the clinics can operate, and bans any pot shop operating within 1000 feet of schools, churches, child care facilities, hospitals or other marijuana collectives.

Finally, the draft plan requires any marijuana clinic that doesn't comply with the new regulations to cease operations immediately. It provides an exception for the some 180 clinics that registered prior to September, 2007, when the City passed it's Interim Control Ordinance, placing a moratorium on new applications.

"We're going to ban sales," Councilman Dennis Zine told the LA Times. "The profit margin is what's gotten them going. They're not in there to help people, they're in there to make money."

The Times reports that some Council members want to take up the draft ordinance within the next week. Earlier this week, a Superior Court judge ruled that the Council violated the law when it extended the moratorium on new applications for a third time earlier this year.

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