You are here

Petitions seek 2017 vote on LA medical marijuana clinics

Proponents said Friday they would begin gathering signatures this weekend for a proposed ballot initiative aimed at repealing Proposition D, a Los Angeles ban on medical marijuana dispensaries, and replacing it with a permitting process.

A sign advertising exams for medical marijuana prescriptions along the Venice Beach boardwalk. Photo by John Schreiber.

The Cannabis Activity Permits and Regulation initiative, which was approved by the city clerk this week for circulation, is sponsored by the UCBA Trade Association, which includes more than 45 medical marijuana dispensaries that have been operating under limited immunity from Proposition D, and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770, a labor union.

The proposed initiative calls for setting up a permitting process that can be tailored by the City Council to meet local needs and to align with state laws around medical marijuana. Currently, 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.

Lisa Selan, an attorney for UCBA, said the initiative would give the city more flexibility to allow other types of marijuana businesses to operate. The initiative seeks to “bring Los Angeles into compliance with state law, and it’s also trying to open up other opportunities for other businesses,” she said.

Other types of medical marijuana businesses that could be allowed under the initiative include medical marijuana cultivators and manufacturers, Selan said.

City officials have said they do not want to permit marijuana delivery services, but under the proposed initiative, if they ever change their minds, they would no longer need to go to voters for approval, Selan said.

Proponents are hoping to put the measure on the March 2017 ballot.