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L.A. steps closer to closing pot clinics

March 23, 2010 12:42:26 AM PDT
The L.A. City Council moves closer on Tuesday to enforcing an ordinance that would close hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries. Two separate committees are set to take a vote on registration fees for medical marijuana operators. The recently passed ordinance regulating dispensaries can't take effect until those fees have been established.

Once that step is cleared, hundreds of dispensaries are expected to be shut down over the next few months.

It is estimated that there are about 1,000 dispensaries across the city. The new ordinance would cap the number of dispensaries to the 187 that were registered before the city issued a moratorium.

The new ordinance also puts in restrictions, including dispensaries cannot be near schools, public parks, public libraries or religious institutions.

City officials suggested the registration fees will be about $1,600 for each dispensary.

Medical marijuana advocates are suing the city in hopes of saving the dispensaries.