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Councilman seeks to raise fees for pot shops

March 13, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Los Angeles city leaders are seeking to charge medical marijuana dispensaries more fees for operating in the city. The increases would be part of an ordinance that was passed in January.City Councilman Ed Reyes says the city wants to collect about $1,200 in fees from each marijuana clinic. The fees would be in addition to the standard charges for inspections and research already included in the ordinance.

Reyes said this is the final step to give officials the power to start regulating dispensaries and cutting back the number of clinics in the city.

Under the current ordinance dispensaries would have to pay $151 for background checks on owners, $324 for registration review and $688 for pre-inspections. Every three months each shop would have to pay $140 to update their registration.

The ordinance aims to cap the citywide total of dispensaries at 70. According to some estimates there are as many as 1,000 medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.

The ordinance is unlikely to take effect until May.