LOS ANGELES — After years of futile attempts by lawmakers to regulate the medical marijuana industry in Los Angeles, a ballot measure to sharply limit the number of pot dispensaries in the city was leading in early returns Tuesday.
Proposition D would reduce the number of pot shops to about 130 from around 700 by allowing only those that opened before the adoption of a failed 2007 city moratorium on new dispensaries. A rival initiative, Measure F, which would have allowed an unlimited number of dispensaries to operate, was trailing. Both measures would raise taxes on medical marijuana sales 20%.
Yami Bolanos, a Proposition D supporter who opened PureLife Alternative Wellness Center in 2006, cried with happiness as the first election results came in, saying she felt as though years of uncertainty about the future of medical marijuana in the city were coming to an end. “Voters had the heart to stand up for the patients like the City Council never did,” Bolanos said.
City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, a cancer patient and medical marijuana user who backed Proposition D, said the measure “takes us out of chaos.” He said the dispensaries that have been in the city since 2007 have showed that they are good actors. “They have lived with us,” he said.
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