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Illegal Pot Dispensaries Are the New Billboard

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You may not be able to find a job in this economy, but you can find marijuana: First, Venice and Atwater Village saw a rash of new and, in some cases, illegal and unregulated marijuana dispensaries, and now the Larchmont Chronicle is reporting that an illegal marijuana dispensary is now operating at 6105 Melrose Ave, worrying members of the Hancock Park Homeowners Association. Background: In 2007, the city passed the Medical Marijuana Interim Control Ordinance (ICO), banning new stores, although operators can apply for so-called exceptions from the ICO “in cases of hardship duly established to the satisfaction of the City Council.” Download the city's ICO here. Now, the underemployed Building and Safety Dept is on the case. Via the paper: "Meanwhile, Councilmember Tom LaBonge. has directed the city Dept. of Building and Safety to investigate the operation. “They have ordered the business to discontinue operation by May 17,” LaBonge noted." [LC]