Long Beach, CA Bans Medical Marijuana Collectives

Long Beach, CA Bans Medical Marijuana Collectives

City's 18 licensed collectives to remain open for 6 months, 35 unlicensed dispensaries must shut down immediately

LONG BEACH, CA — The Long Beach City Council voted 8-1 Tuesday to ban medical marijuana collectives within the city. The 18 city approved dispensaries will be allowed to remain open for six months, but unlicensed dispensaries could be shut down immediately by local law enforcement.

City Attorney Robert Shannon had sought the outright ban of collectives and dispensaries after an appeals court in October ruled in Pack v. Long Beach that the city’s 2010 permit process for the collectives violated federal law prohibiting the sale and distribution of marijuana.

Although the Pack v. Long Beach decision contradicted other appellate court rulings, several cities and counties across California have used it as a reason to suspend regulatory ordinances or completely ban local distribution. That ruling was vacated in January, however, when the California Supreme Court announced that it would review the case.

The ban motion, proposed by Councilman Robert Garcia, protects the 18 collectives and dispensaries who participated in the city’s licensing process “in good faith” while the city seeks clarification on its powers to regulate medical marijuana, the use of which is allowed under California’s medical marijuana law. In the meantime, Garcia said his legislation allows police to use “the full extent of the law” to shut down about 35 dispensaries that did not seek licensing approval from the City of Long Beach.

The council didn’t vote on another substitute motion, advanced by Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal, that would have enacted a temporary moratorium on issuing permits until the California Supreme Court rules on the Pack case, which is likely to take over a year. The motion also would have allowed licensed collectives to continue operating.

The City of Long Beach has collected more than $700,000 in application fees and taxes from registered collectives, leading collective leaders to believe they were on a course for legitimate existence in the City of Long Beach.

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  • AFH

    How does it feel to watch all our hopes and dreams in California get ground into the dirt? Medical marijuana needs strength not more regulation.  Regulate Marijuana Like Wine, protects medical marijuana fully, while making it legal for everyone. Like Wine deals with the feds, and stops the drug war.

    The only thing it needs is your help getting on the ballot!


  • Rfraide

    People with the medical need to use marijuana should be given that right. But the matter of the fact is, that ther is way too many people in California that abuse of this. Like in my home town of Long Beach California. Any body can go to any whole in the wall clinic to get a doctors note so that they can be given the opportunity to buy a medical marijuana card for $6.00 bucks. By the city of Long beach. And just like my lazy niebhore he has the right to smoke marijuana in front of his moms house. And me being a hard working, tax paying citizen of Long Beach can’t enjoy a beer in front of my house. Because I run the risk of being sited for or go to jail for. An it’s a damn shame what we as a community have become!!

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