The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a ban Nov. 23 on medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas of the county, including Marina del Rey.
Supervisor Don Knabe, who represents the Marina, noted that since the board voted in 2006 to allow collectives to operate in unincorporated areas, a number of unauthorized dispensaries have opened near public facilities, which he says concerns some of his constituents as well as the board.
“While this board originally tried to be fair and adopt a very strict medical marijuana dispensary ordinance, we have unfortunately seen an increased number of illegal operations,” said Knabe. “This is not what voters thought they were voting for, nor the board’s intentions when we originally modified our zoning in 2006.”
Supervisor Michael Antonovich had introduced a motion in July directing staff to prepare an ordinance amending the county’s zoning code to prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries. The county Regional Planning Commission recommended approval of the ban to the supervisors after holding a public hearing.
“There have been too many incidents of dispensaries being unlawfully opened adjacent to schools and libraries and other locations frequented by children,” Knabe said. “Many communities are rightfully concerned about the abuses of the system and the resulting increases in crime.
“While many people have legitimate health concerns, we should be thoughtful and cautious about the way we handle marijuana and it should be dispensed from a pharmacy, rather than from storefront operations.”
Marina del Rey and a segment of the Del Rey community that lies in the unincorporated area of the county will be affected by the ban.
The ordinance is scheduled to be formally adopted on Tuesday, Dec. 7 and will go into effect after 30 days if it is approved.