The Los Angeles City Attorney has warned four of the 10 medical marijuana dispensaries in Eagle Rock that if they do not close down immediately the will face a daily fine of $2,500 for each municipal code violation, plus the cost to the city of investigating the violation, closing down the business and any related attorney fees.
The facilities were among 141 across the city that were ordered on Monday to shut down for failing to sign up for a lottery that will limit the total number of medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles to 100. The City attorney’s office released a list of the 141 facilities Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Times, which reported that the operators of 228 dispensaries had applied for the lottery by a Feb. 18 deadline.
The four facilities in Eagle Rock are the American Eagle Collective, one of the neighborhood’s most popular medical marijuana dispensaries located on 2501 W. Colorado Blvd. (cross street College View); House of Kush 1632 Colorado Blvd. (cross street Townsend Avenue); Organic Healing Center, 1733 Colorado Blvd. (cross street LaRoda); Cloud Nine, 2775 W. Broadway (cross street El Verano Avenue).
Cloud Nine had closed last year, following a June 7, 2010 deadline imposed by the City for all marijuana dispensaries to shut down that were either not registered as California not-for-profit corporations or which did not have the same ownership or management that was in place in November 2007, when the City issued a medical marijuana ordinance.
Cloud Nine reopened recently, however, according to Michael Larsen, president of the , which has been trying to shut down illegal medical marijuana facilities in Eagle Rock. In January, the ERNC decided to invite the federal government to help regulate the marijuana facilities in Eagle Rock.
The City Council voted unanimously to limit L.A.’s medical marijuana facilities to 100 through a lottery on Jan. 21. The decision was a direct response to a Dec. 10 ruling by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mohr, which invalidated large portions of a revised marijuana ordinance adopted by the City Council in January 2010. Mohr had issued an injunction preventing the city from enforcing parts of its ordinance—but the judge subsequently stayed his own injunction, saying that it would become effective if marijuana facilities post a nearly $350,000 bond to offset any administrative costs to the city because of the injunction. Medical marijuana facilities have reportedly yet to post the bond.
The question on everyone’s mind right now is whether—and how—the marijuana dispensaries ordered to close shop will comply with the order, given how controversial and complicated the whole issue is. No date has been set for the lottery and the city clerk’s office is reviewing the applications received from dispensary owners who want to be included in the lottery, the Times reported.
“We don’t know if we’re going to close down or not—we’re open for now,” an employee at the House of Kush told Eagle Rock Patch, adding: “We don’t know what’s going on and we haven’t gotten a letter yet.” The Times, however, quoted Asha Greenberg, an assistant city attorney, as saying that her office sent letters Monday to the operators and landlords of the 140 dispensaries, ordering them to close shop.
An employee at American Eagle Collective declined to comment when contacted.
“The big question is are they just going to keep thumbing their noses at the city or are they going to go away quietly—take their money and leave,” said ERNC’s Larsen.