County Shuts Down Marijuana Dispensary In Unincorporated South Whittier

A medical marijuana dispensary operating illegally in unincorporated South Whittier was forced to close last week, Supervisor Don Knabe announced today.

County officials shut down the dispensary in the unincorporated Whittier area on Friday because it didn’t have the proper County permits and licenses. The dispensary, located at 11331 La Mirada Boulevard near Leffingwell Road, was discovered to be operating illegally in late April by County officials who initiated immediate action to close it down.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted the County’s medical marijuana ordinances in 2006, which allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate within most commercial and manufacturing zones in the unincorporated areas of the County with a conditional use permit and a business license. Dispensaries cannot be located within a 1,000-foot radius of sensitive uses, such as schools, playgrounds, parks, libraries, places of religious worship, child care facilities, etc., and they may not be located within a 1,000-foot radius of other dispensaries unless a variance is obtained from the Regional Planning Commission. The County requires dispensary operators to have all required permits and licenses prior to opening their doors for business.

Representatives of the County Departments of Regional Planning and Treasurer and Tax Collector conducted on-site inspections of the dispensary in late April and issued notices of violation to the dispensary operators for not having the proper permits and licenses. The dispensary closed its doors after County Counsel contacted both the dispensary operators and the property owners, and told them that civil action may be pursued against them if the dispensary did not cease operations immediately.

This is a big victory for the County, said Supervisor Knabe. This is not about whether medical marijuana is right or wrong – the voters have already answered that question. What is most important is ensuring the safety of our children and our communities, and ensuring that properly-permitted dispensaries operate within the law. Closing this dispensary was a high priority and ensures we are keeping our neighborhoods safe.