The Los Angeles City Council approved an ordinance Tuesday that will close most of the medical marijuana dispensaries set up in the city in recent years, reports the Christian Science Monitor. More than 600 pot dispensaries have opened in the past 10 months. The new law, which passed 9-3, caps the number of dispensaries at 70 and provides strict rules for where they can operate.
The shops must now be at least 1,000 feet from churches, libraries, schools, playgrounds and other “sensitive” areas. Advocates of medical marijuana criticized the new restrictions for limiting patient access to medicine, but welcomed the ordinance as a sign that medical pot dispensaries were here to stay. A flood of new dispensaries have opened in Los Angeles in the past few years, eliciting complaints by residents in many neighborhoods. California is one of 14 states to have legalized medical pot.