LA County moves closer to licensing commercial cannabis businesses – Pasadena Star News

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors agreed on Tuesday, February 15, to move forward with the development and implementation of a “fair” licensing system for commercial cannabis businesses in the areas. unincorporated.

The council’s action means the end is potentially in sight of the county’s years-long ban on marijuana dispensaries and other cannabis-related activities. The county’s ban on marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas has been in place since 2010 and was expanded in 2017 to include growing, manufacturing, testing, and distributing the drug for non-personal use. .

California voted to legalize cannabis in 2016 and legal recreational sales began in January 2018.

The council has instructed its Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs to develop and implement a commercial cannabis licensing program for unincorporated areas, starting with a limited number of licenses while prioritizing to “equity” candidates.

The council-authorized framework allows up to 25 retail, 25 delivery, 10 cultivation, 10 manufacturing, 10 distribution and 10 testing licenses. County officials said limiting the initial number of licenses will ensure permits are distributed fairly in the community.

“A safe, regulated, and equitable cannabis program is needed for unincorporated Los Angeles County and to address the injustices that have caused the disproportionate criminalization of communities of color and the exclusion of economic gains from cannabis legalization” , said Holly, chairwoman of the supervisory board. J. Mitchell, co-sponsor of the motion, said in a statement.

County officials noted that illegal marijuana operations have been a growing problem in many unincorporated areas, creating safety issues for affected neighborhoods and opening up an illegal trade ripe for violence and organized criminal activity.

“Over the past few years, my office and I have worked closely with many community members to combat illegal cannabis businesses in unincorporated areas of the First District,” said Supervisor Hilda Solis, co-author of the motion, in a press release. “And while we were able to quickly and permanently close many illegal dispensaries, our residents remain frustrated with the lack of effective measures to protect their families from the negative impacts of these unlicensed facilities while honoring the intent of California voters who supported the legalization of cannabis.

“To that end, now is the time to begin developing a plan for the legal distribution, retail, manufacture, enforcement and regulation of cannabis in unincorporated Los Angeles County, which is based on equitable access, robust and effective enforcement, and community outreach and education. .”

As part of the council’s action, the DCBA will also provide prospective licensees with referrals and access to education, job training and technical assistance, as well as possible financial assistance.

Until the ministry fully develops the system, all cannabis-related business activities will continue to be illegal in unincorporated areas. It is unclear how long it will take to fully develop the program.

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