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Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Los Angeles: Here’s What Proposition D Means To You.

Earlier this month, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced new efforts to enforce regulations put in place by voter-approved Proposition D. These new efforts will increase the enforcement of Proposition D with additional focus on property owners who provide a space for marijuana businesses to operate.

The City Attorney’s office stated than 100 medical marijuana dispensaries have been closed and several hundred individuals have been prosecuted since Proposition D went in to effect last June. However, medical marijuana businesses continue to grow in number within the City, partially fueled by confusion over the law.

Does my business qualify for immunity under Propostion D?

In order to be protected under Proposition D, marijuana businesses in the City of Los Angeles must meet specific requirements.

  1. Registration under the City’s 2007 Interim Control Ordinance 179027
  2. Registration under the City’s 2010 Medical Marijuana Ordinance 181069 as amended by the 2011 Temporary Urgency Ordinance 181530
  3. Registered under Measure M regarding taxation of medical marijuana in 2011 or 2012
  4. Comply with other operating and location restrictions

The operating and location restrictions state that under Proposition D, a medical marijuana business in the city of Los Angeles must NOT:

  • Have an unpaid tax obligation to the City that is not paid in full, including any assessed fines, penalties, interest or other costs, prior to the commencement of the following tax year
  • Open or operate between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m.
  • Have marijuana and/or alcohol consumed on the premises or parking area
  • Allow a minor unaccompanied by a parent or legal guardian to enter the premises
  • Have any marijuana visible from the exterior of the premises
  • During closure hours, illuminate the premises by any lighting visible from the exterior of the premises, except reasonable security lighting
  • Locate any access (other than an emergency exit) on any side of the location that abuts, is across the street (unless 80 feet wide), alley or walk from the location, or has a common corner with residentially zoned land. Any non-complaint business was given until December 17, 2013 to move to a compliant location
  • Fail to: (1) identify the name and residence address of each of its managers to the City Clerk

by October 31 of each year or (2) fail to have the managers successfully take and pass a Livescan by January 31 of each year

  • Have a manager who is also the manager of another medical marijuana business in the City
  • Locate within a 1000-foot radius of a school, or within a 600-foot radius of a public park, public library, religious institution, child care facility, youth center, alcoholism, drug

abuse recovery or treatment facility, or other medical marijuana business. Any non-complaint business has until December 17, 2013 to move to a compliant location.

View the full text and requirements for Proposition D.

Approximately 134 dispensaries met these standards when the law went in to effect, and qualify for immunity under proposition D. See the list. 

Tax Registration is Not a License to Operate

Despite the fact that new marijuana dispensaries are illegal under Proposition D, the city continues to issue business tax registration certificates to new collectives.

“The Office of Finance issues a business tax registration certificate, which is not a license or permit to operate in the city of Los Angeles,” said City Finance Director Antoinette Christovale. “This certificate signifies that a business has registered to pay taxes.”

The LA Times reported that since the passage of Proposition D, more than 300 medical marijuana collectives have registered to pay business taxes, including nearly 200 with no previous record in the tax system. Those businesses would not receive immunity under the law.

The City Attorney’s office has stated that they will not ask the Finance Department to stop issuing certificates, but they will prosecute any new dispensaries in violation of Proposition D.

What does Propositon D mean to property owners?

Under Proposition D, it is illegal to rent, lease, or permit a marijuana business to occupy or use a location unless that business qualifies for immunity under Proposition D. If you are a property owner, it is your responsibility to determine that a medical marijuana business has met all of the requirements necessary to qualify for limited immunity under Proposition D. The City Attorney’s Office has issued this brochure to help you.

Need legal advice on Los Angles Proposition D?

If you have questions or are facing legal charges under Proposition D, contact Glew & Kim today. Our expert attorneys have represented medical marijuana dispensaries across California and provide personal attention to each case to create the best possible outcome.