Story here. It's unfortunate that Huffpo is the vehicle, as they're notoriously left-wing and bad at reporting news accurately. The story says pot dispensaries were authorized by Prop 215 passed in California in 1996.
This is what I mean by bad reporting. Nothing in California law authorizes dispensaries. They're strictly an invention of pot ganjapreneurs as a delivery mechanism for pot. One of the reasons our voter initiatives are bad news: we said yes to medical marijuana, but no provision was provided in the voter initiative as to how people get it. Turns out they were supposed to either grow it themselves, or have their caregiver (someone consistently involved in safety, housing, or welfare of the patient) to grow it for them. Caregiver somehow got miraculously extended to include pot shop owner due to the cunning ingenuity of drug dealers, er medical marijuana providers. Thus, dispensaries proliferated.
This has not held up in court, by the way. Courts have consistently ruled that providing pot does not in any way equate to being a real caregiver, but that didn't stop dispensaries from opening and clustering in on city blocks, hawking their drugs, er 'medicine'.
Good for Los Angeles. It's about time.
Here in Santa Barbara, our city council takes up the matter on January 26. They will hopefully extend the moratorium currently in place to its full year length. That will stop new pot shops from opening, of which there is a queue of 8. But that leaves us with 3 licensed pot shops under the old ordinance, with lovely names like The Green Well, and The Green Light (gang parlance for issuing an execution). We also have 4 nonconforming dispensaries, though three of those have been issued 'cease and desist' orders by the City Attorney. We still have a plethora of illegal shops, and though we feel the police ought to be able to shut them down TODAY, these investigations and prosecutions take time and diligence.
California is fighting back. We got conned by the medical marijuana ruse. Other states, take note.