Los Angeles seems to have a lot of trouble policing commerce-related things. Advertisers put up $100,000 illegal billboards overnight and never have to take them down, and now apparently medical marijuana stores are running rampant. The Los Angeles times says that since the city enacted a moratorium on new dispensaries in 2007, the number has grown from 186 to more than 600.
These aren’t all sketchy insta-storefront places, either. The owner of one dispensary highlighted in the article says he’s spent considerable money recently remodeling his store:
n an interview at his dispensary, Edward Hovnanyan, one of the owners of L.A. Collective, expressed dismay that the council had targeted his store. He said that it was the first to open on Glendale Boulevard and that he has worked closely with city officials on his renovation. The shop has new floors and walls. A display case holds 20 jars filled with dusky green buds.
“I spent so much money, so much time, now I’m facing maybe being shut down,” he said. “If something’s wrong, something’s not right, why did government not stop me?”
The number of dispensaries grew in the past two years due to a loophole in the moratorium that the LA City Council never addressed. If any store filed a hardship request to stay open, the city’s attorney took no further legal action.