Following through on a crackdown announced last month, federal authorities have shut 62% of medical marijuana dispensaries in and around San Diego and expect to close more in the next two weeks, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The Justice Department says that although California permits marijuana use with a doctor’s prescription, the sale and distribution of pot are still illegal under federal law.
Last month, the four U.S. attorneys in the state announced the crackdown, which they said was targeted at the “commercial marijuana industry,” particularly operations near schools, parks and athletic fields. They threatened to prosecute landlords and operators and seize their property if they did not shut down in 45 days.
According to the U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy, 139 of 222 dispensaries in San Diego and Imperial counties had closed by the end of last week, the Union-Tribune writes. About 9% more are to shut down in the next two weeks.
Duffy’s office said Drug Enforcement Administration agents confirmed the closures.
Up north, three dispensaries have closed in San Francisco, theSan Francisco Chronicle reports in an article about how the statewide crackdown has thrown about 2,500 people out of work and cost the cash-strapped state millions in lost tax revenue.
California voters approved medical marijuana in 1996.