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City officials estimate as many as 1,000 dispensaries operate in Los Angeles. Only four were open in 2005, when city officials first began discussing a local medical marijuana law.

Among the proposed provisions is capping the number of dispensaries at 70 — a move that would shutter many shops that don’t comply with the new law.


Concrete-testing trial set to start

NEW YORK — A major New York concrete-testing firm is going on trial on criminal charges. It’s accused of faking results for projects including ground zero’s signature tower and the new Yankee Stadium.

Opening arguments are scheduled Wednesday in the racketeering case against Testwell Laboratories Inc. and four executives.

Prosecutors say Testwell doctored — and sometimes simply made up — concrete and steel test results for more than 100 projects. The defendants say the disputed results reflect mistakes, minor adjustments or common industry practices.

More than a dozen projects have been retested and declared safe, including the stadium and ground zero’s Freedom Tower. Authorities are awaiting results for dozens more.

The trial is expected to take months.


Experiment to test value of killing owls

GRANTS PASS — Federal biologists are designing an experiment to determine whether killing the aggressive barred owl that has invaded old-growth forests of the Northwest would help the survival of the spotted owl, which is protected.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that it is doing an environmental analysis laying out the rules for the experiment.

The spotted owl went from a seldom-seen denizen of old-growth forests to the cover of Time magazine in the 1990s as environmentalists forced the federal government to cut back logging on Northwest national forests in order to protect its habitat.

Despite the logging cutbacks, spotted owls continue to decline, most steeply where there are high populations of more aggressive barred owls that are native to eastern North America.

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