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Unless you have some kind of selective blindness to pot leaf-shaped neon signs, you've probably noticed the recent deluge of medicinal marijuana dispensaries around town. Today, the LA Times reports that the count has reached 600, with a whole lot more that have managed to slip by under the radar. Thanks to a loophole in a 2007 law, any pot shop that's filed a 'hardship application' (basically a statement that they're in financial trouble) is safe from prosecution until that application has been denied. And, so far, city officials haven't ruled on any of these 500 applications, leaving the dispensaries basically unregulated.
But the reefer boom may soon be coming to an end—according to the paper, city officials have finally caught on to what's been happening. Over the next few weeks, they'll be holding mass hearings for all those outstanding hardship applications and will be taking up a motion to close the loophole next Tuesday. So what does that mean for the rest of us? Presumably, a whole lot more empty storefronts—but judging by reports from some neighboring business owners of strange smells wafting into their spaces, that won't necessarily be a bad thing.
·LA's Medical Pot Dispensary Moritorium Led to a Boom Instead [LA Times]