ASA appeals LA zoning interpretation

la-city-hallAmericans for Safe Access (ASA) filed an appeal of the Zoning Administrator’s interpretation of the new medical cannabis ordinance in Los Angeles on Friday. The appeal challenges the Zoning Administrator’s position on parking and nonconforming use status for medical cannabis collectives.

In an interpretation published on May 6, Zoning Administrator Michael Logrande states that collectives “operate in a way that is similar to medical offices and clinics,” and should therefore have one parking space per two hundred square feet of floor space. That is a tough standard for collectives to meet, especially in combination with the other restrictions on where they can be located. ASA argues that the parking requirement should be based on the square footage of the facility used for retail and manufacturing use – a computation that would make finding a new location easier.

ASA’s appeal also challenges the Zoning Administrator’s position that medical cannabis collectives have no status as prior nonconforming uses, vested land use rights that may make it possible to challenge the applicability of the new ordinance. Nonconforming status is a significant component of the lawsuit filed by ASA on March 2 seeking to overturn some portions of the city’s medical cannabis ordinance. It is also expected to be a significant part of litigation filed by other groups.

This appeal is part of an ongoing effort to improve the State’s most severe medical cannabis ordinance. Our research and experience show that sensible regulations reduce crime and complaints around collectives, while preserving access for legal patients. We must not let those who oppose medical cannabis or misguided city staff use the regulatory process to roll back safe access to medicine. That is why ASA remains committed to fighting for reasonable regulations in Los Angeles and other jurisdictions.

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