A medical marijuana shop in the San Fernando Valley. Photo by Laurie Avocado via Wikimedia Commons
A medical marijuana shop in the San Fernando Valley. Photo by Laurie Avocado via Wikimedia Commons

Will you get to vote to keep and permit pot shops in Los Angeles?

Proponents of a measure to repeal Proposition D, a city ban on medical marijuana dispensaries, say they have turned in more than 100,000 signatures to the City Clerk’s office in an effort to qualify for the March ballot.

The measure calls for creating a permitting process that would replace the ban. It was put forward by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770, a labor union, and the UCBA Trade Association, which is consists of dispensaries that were given immunity to continue operating under Proposition D despite the ban.

The City Clerk’s office still needs to verify whether the petitions meet the 61,487 minimum threshold for valid signatures.

The proponents are aiming to put the measure on the March 2017 ballot. If the signatures are deemed sufficient, the City Council also has the option to adopt the ordinance language as-is or call a special election.

The proposed measure is a response to a state law going into effect Jan. 1, 2018 that will require municipalities to set up some type of permitting or licensing procedure for marijuana-related activity.

Marijuana dispensaries that are under immunity from Proposition D would no longer be able to operate if a permitting system is not in place by the time the state law kicks in.

The trade group “recognized the immediate need for the city to re- examine cannabis activity in light of recent changes to California laws,” Jerred Kiloh, president of the UCBA, said.

Under the proposed ballot measure, the City Council would be able to tailor the permitting policy to meet local needs and to address state laws around medical marijuana.

The only way to change requirements and regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles is through voter approval.

The initiative also specifies a business tax of $80 per $1,000 of gross receipts on recreational marijuana if voters in November approve a measure allowing recreational marijuana use by adults.

—City News Service

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