Los Angeles County Counsel Rick Weiss said letters were sent to the owners of both properties informing them permits were required. In Pasadena, a city zoning code amendment permanently banning dispensaries was approved in September 2005, said city spokeswoman Ann Erdman. “People who advocated for medical marijuana packed the hearing room,” she recalled, “but \ decided it should prohibit use in Pasadena because a lot of people try to circumvent laws.” But William Dolphin, a spokesman for Safe Access for America, a medicinal marijuana advocacy group, insisted that despite such claims, the 200,000 people considered to be in need of the drug should be able to readily obtain the information and medicine they need. An exemption from criminal penalties for medical marijuana use created by Proposition 215, or the Compassionate Use Act, approved in November 1996 by 56 percent of voters, lies at the root of the controversy. Since the proposition passed, two dozen cities and seven counties – including Los Angeles, Riverside and Santa Barbara – have approved regulations allowing the dispensaries. However, three times as many municipalities have passed moratoriums or bans, according to published reports. The FDA has not approved marijuana for medical use in the United States. [email protected] (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4461160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’“They were conducting a medical marijuana dispensary without a conditional use permit first being obtained,” said Alex Garcia with the county’s regional planning department. A hand-made sign posted on the door Thursday told patrons the dispensary, located in an office building at 3868 E. Colorado Blvd., was closed. Two blocks away and a day earlier, another outlet called California Compassionate Caregivers, at 3682 E. Colorado Blvd., also closed shop. The owners alerted customers with a similar sign, as well as placing a farewell notice on Weedtracker.com, a Web site dedicated to medical marijuana. “We put our heart and soul and truly wanted to make a difference, but we failed you,” reads the Web posting. PASADENA – Here, near the 10th anniversary of voter-approved medicinal marijuana in California, the going is rough for purveyors in the San Gabriel Valley. The two latest dispensaries opened and quickly shut down due to county permit violations. “Medical functions belong in a medical facility to protect the public as well as patients,” said Tony Bell, spokesman for county Supervisor Michael Antonovich. “We believe these current operators’ intention is to circumvent the law. We have to be vigilant, and our office will pursue every legal avenue \.” County code mandates that medicinal marijuana dispensaries possess a business license and conditional-use permit, both required since a moratorium approved unanimously in June 2005 by the Board of Supervisors was lifted in June of this year, officials said. On Wednesday, Alternative Caregivers of Pasadena closed shop after receiving a violation notice from county officials.