Marijuana dispensary to be shut down

HACIENDA HEIGHTS - A medical marijuana dispensary that is allegedly operating illegally in unincorporated Hacienda Heights is in the process of being shut down, Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe said in a media release last week.The dispensary, located at 15608 Gale Ave., near Hacienda Boulevard, was discovered to be operating illegally last week by county inspectors who found it was being run without a business license or other required approvals by the county. Formal violation notices were left with dispensary employees on July 15, and additional notices mandating immediate closure of the dispensary were to be posted this week, Knabe said. Under an ordinance adopted in 2006, medical marijuana dispensaries are allowed to operate within most commercial and manufacturing zones in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County with a conditional use permit and a business license. Dispensaries cannot be located within a 1,000-ft. radius of sensitive uses, such as schools, playgrounds, parks, libraries, churches and child care facilities. They also cannot be located within 1,000 feet of other dispensaries unless a variance is obtained from the Regional Planning Commission. The county requires all medical marijuana dispensaries to have the required permits and licenses prior to opening for business. "Dispensary operators have a duty to be responsible community partners and this operator has clearly failed miserably," Knabe said of the Hacienda Heights dispensary. "The county will continue to actively seek immediate closure of operators who do not follow the rules. "This is not about whether medical marijuana is right or wrong - the voters have already answered that question. What is most important is ensuring the safety of our children and our communities, and ensuring that properly-permitted dispensaries operate within the law."

********** Published: July 22, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 14