City of Los Angeles Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Measures D, E and F (May 2013)
|Voting on Marijuana|
|Not on ballot|
In October 2007, the Los Angeles City Council enacted an "Interim Control Ordinance" that essentially banned all storefront sales of medical marijuana. Measures D, E and F on the May 21, 2013 ballot proposed tochange that city law in different ways. Measure D was the only measure that received a majority of yes votes.
|Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Issue|
- These election results are from the Los Angeles City Clerk.
On January 29, 2013, by an 8-4 vote, the Los Angeles City Council voted to refer Measure D to the ballot. The city council took this action in response to the fact that the backers of Measures E and F had submitted signatures on petitions to election officials to qualify their initiatives for the ballot.
What it does
Measure D establishes the following:
- Allows the 135 dispensaries approved under the interim control ordinance of September 2007 to stay open, if they follow the city's rules on proximity to schools, churches and neighborhoods.
- Places a new tax of $60 per $1,000 of marijuana sold. This represents an increase of $10 per $1,000 of sales over current levels of marijuana taxation.
Who supported it
Measure D was also backed by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. This group also supported Measure E, but saw Measure D as an appropriate compromise between Measures E and F.
Councilman Paul Koretz supported Measure D, saying, "Neither of these two initiatives [Measures E and F] are perfect and one would have far too little regulation. But we have a third proposal that would bring in tax revenue and maintain access for medical marijuana patients."
The question on the ballot:
|Measure D: "Shall an ordinance regulating businesses where marijuana is cultivated, processed, distributed, delivered or given away to qualified patients or primary caregivers (MMBs) by: (1) prohibiting MMBs but providing limited immunity for MMBs that operated since September 2007, timely registered with the City, generally have not ceased operations, pay City taxes, pass annual background checks, are separated from residential zones, maintain certain distances from schools, parks, child care facilities, other designated places and other MMBs, and meet other requirements and operational standards; (2) exempting dwelling units used by three or fewer patients/caregivers to cultivate medical marijuana on-site for their patients or themselves, and other exemptions; and (3) increasing the MMB tax to $60 per each $1,000 of gross receipts; be adopted?"|
Measure E, an initiative, was sponsored by the "Committee to Protect Patients and Neighborhoods". This group had the backing of the United Food and Commercial Workers union. If chosen by voters, Measure E would have banned all medical marijuana dispensaries except the shops that were registered before 2007. This would have permanently capped the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city at 135.
The question on the ballot:
|Measure E: "Shall an ordinance regulating associations of six or more qualified patients and/or primary caregivers who gather to cultivate, distribute or engage in other activities related to marijuana for medical purposes (MMCs) by: (1) prohibiting MMCs but providing limited immunity for MMCs that operated since September 2007, timely registered with the City, generally have not ceased operations for 90 days, pass annual background checks, are separated from residential zones, maintain certain distances from schools, parks, child care facilities and other designated places, and satisfy other requirements; (2) establishing operational standards enforceable as infractions; and (3) exempting associations of five or fewer patients/caregivers who process or cultivate medical marijuana on-site for MMCs, their patients or themselves, and other exemptions; be adopted?"|
Measure F, before it got its official measure designation, was called the "Medical Marijuana Collectives Initiative Ordinance". Backers of Measure F submitted approximately 67,000 signatures to election officials in early January 2013 to qualify Measure F for the ballot.
What it would have done
If Measure F was approved by the city's voters, it would have:
- Allowed the licensing of medical marijuana dispensaries that opened after 2007 as long as they meet certain specified standards.
- Imposed a 20% sales tax on the medical marijuana sold in the proposed licensed dispensaries.
- Required background checks on all managers, employees and volunteers who distribute medical marijuana.
- Required that medical marijuana dispensaries test and analyze medical marijuana for pesticides and toxins.
- Required each dispensary to file an annual CPA-reviewed audit of its operations with the city controller's office.
- Required that each dispensary provide patient parking.
- Denied access to children under any circumstances.
Who supported it
Measure F was sponsored by a group called "Angelenos for Safe Access."
The question on the ballot:
|Measure F: "Shall an ordinance regulating associations of qualified patients and/or primary caregivers who cultivate, provide or engage in other activities related to marijuana for medical purposes (MMCs) by: (1) prohibiting MMCs but providing limited immunity for MMCs that register with the City (without limiting the number that can register but giving registration priority to those possessing City tax certificates by October 2012), generally have not ceased operations for more than 90 days, pass annual background checks, are separated from residential uses, maintain certain distances from schools, parks, child care facilities, other designated places and other MMCs, and meet other requirements and operational standards; (2) exempting dwellings zoned residential, and other exemptions; and (3) increasing the MMC tax to $60 per each $1,000 of gross receipts; be adopted?"|
The editorial board of the Los Angeles Daily News wrote that city-based measures to deal with the problem of how best to regulate medical marijuana are not the way to go. Rather, they said, the California State Legislature needs to deal with the issue: "As long as state legislators fail to act, we'll still have a ragged patchwork of city policies enacted by officials tugged in different directions by compassion for the sick, the need to stop illegal for-profit pot shops, conflicting court rulings, and hardline federal laws. An Assembly bill to create statewide regulations was withdrawn by its author in June over various conflicts. The new Legislature must get something done...In the meantime, the ongoing battle over medical marijuana isn't helping legitimate therapeutic users or the communities with troublesome dispensaries. This remains a state issue. It is up to state officials to provide clarity."
Path to the ballot
At the time of these ballot questions, 41,138 signatures of registered voters were required to qualify initiated city ordinances for the Los Angeles ballot.
- Details on Measure E (allowing licenses only to pre-2007 dispensaries)
- Details on Measure F (allowing licenses to pre- and post-2007 dispensaries)
- Text of Measure F
- Pot at the polls: 3 different medical marijuana measures on L.A.'s May ballot
- City Council Approves Two Medical Marijuana Initiatives for May Ballot
- Here's why medical marijuana isn't going away
- KCRW radio interview on Measures D, E and F
- In Los Angeles, advocates push dueling medical marijuana measures
- Los Angeles Times, "First of two L.A. pot shop initiatives qualifies for May ballot", January 3, 2013
- SCPR, "LA City Council OKs third ballot measure on medical marijuana", February 5, 2013
- Huffington Post, "Los Angeles Pot Ballot Initiatives: Three Different Measures Could Confuse Voters", January 29, 2013
- Los Angeles Times, "L.A. voters could decide 3 pot measures on May ballot", January 15, 2013
- Los Angeles Daily News, "Editorial: Another medical marijuana measure qualified for L.A. city ballot, but the solution should come from the state", January 4, 2013
- SCPR, "Medical marijuana initiative qualifies for Los Angeles ballot", January 3, 2013
- Vote Yes on F, "What is Ordinance F and Why is This the Best Option for Our Communities?", March 12, 2013
- Los Angeles Daily News, "L.A. medical marijuana measure is not the answer: opinion", January 3, 2013