The Los Angeles City Council has released its draft regulations for overseeing the cannabis industry. The plans were released by City Council President Herb J. Wesson, Jr. alongside Councilmembers Bob Blumenfield, Paul Koretz and Nury Martinez.
Measure M, which set up the new regulatory framework for Los Angeles’ cannabis laws, was passed in March by an overwhelming majority (over 80% approval) and is meant to address the problems that have weighed down Proposition D.
Almost immediately after Measure M’s passing, Wesson Jr. began to hold many meetings, inviting the public, members of the cannabis industry, and regulators from other states that have approved recreational cannabis use that included Colorado and Washington.
“We will continue to have a robust dialogue about the regulatory framework and a healthy debate of Los Angeles’ growing cannabis industry prior to final recommendations being considered by the City Council,” Wesson Jr. recently said. “I’m calling on all residents and stakeholders to provide comments and feedback on the draft documents to ensure the pending regulations are inclusive of all communities.”
Legal cannabis is expected to generate tens of millions in new revenue for the City of Los Angeles. Councilmember Bob Blumenfield acknowledged that Los Angeles had a unique opportunity to set the tone for legal cannabis across the nation.
“Voters called upon us to prepare our city to enter this brave new world of legal Marijuana and these draft regulations are a solid starting point. Our goal is to make recreational marijuana a net positive for consumers, community, business, public safety and city coffers. As the largest city to regulate marijuana, we will be the blueprint for the rest of the nation,” Blumenfield said.
Councilmember Paul Koretz signaled his desire to clear up the murky legalities that have plauged the Los Angeles cannabis industry for years.
“The release of this draft ordinance is a crucial step in the city’s effort to prepare for the January 1 statewide legalization of cannabis and, more specifically, to help us create a clear and enforceable set of regulations here in Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Paul Koretz. “I expect to make comments on the draft myself, and I encourage everyone with any kind of interest in this challenging issue to participate and help us come up with the best regulations possible.”
Another concern for communities has been the location and density of dispensaries in certain neighborhoods. This issue was addressed byCouncilmember Nury Martinez.
“No one neighborhood should bear the brunt of the cannabis business. In adopting new cannabis regulations, we can avoid the mistakes of Prop. D, which created an environment where illegal shops could run rampant. These rules to implement voter-approved Measure M will help us make sure that there is no concentration of pot shops in just a handful of communities,” Martinez said.