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New medical pot law shuts hundreds of shops

L.A.'s big bust on medical marijuana clinics takes effect midnight Sunday, forcing hundreds of collectives to shut down.

June 6, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Humming Collective is one of hundreds of dispensaries under orders to lock their doors Monday, as a new ordinance takes effect.

It was a busy closing night at The Humming Collective in Highland Park. The marijuana dispensary is one of 400 in the city of Los Angeles has ordered to shut down by Monday.

"The people pushing the law haven't come out to see what we're actually doing here. We're here for everyone, and it's a shame that they don't see that as part of the healing of the community," said a Hummingbird Collective worker who wanted to be identified as "Amber."

The owner of the collective says they serve 4,000 patients, most of them from the San Gabriel Valley. Those who rely on the location says the city's new ordinance is going to have a serious impact on those in need.

"They're restricting my access as a patient to medicine that I know I can get safely, and I know that the staff here is knowledgeable about the medicine. They can help me find what I need to address my issues as a patient," said a patient of the collective who wanted to be identified as "Bob."

All of the marijuana dispensaries in operation since 2007 can remain open, which amounts to about 130. The rest have been ordered to shut their doors or face stiff fines and jail time.

Those fighting to reign in the explosion of hundreds of pot stores say it's a step in the right direction.

"I hope it'll be the start of a real regulation of medical marijuana in Los Angeles. Up until tomorrow or midnight tonight, there has been no regulation at all," said Michael Larsen of the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council.

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