The City Council voted unanimously to approve new rules for recreational marijuana sales. The new regulations now await the signature from Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The Los Angeles City Council’s members approved new regulations just weeks before recreational marijuana sales become legal in California on January 1.
Although there is concern from industry members and advocates about some of the details in the new regulations, the City Council pushed forward with a 12-0 vote to adopt the new rules.
City Council President was excited to have the spotlight on Los Angeles.
“We are L.A. We are a big city. We do big stuff, that’s who we are, that’s how we roll. And there are cities throughout this country that are looking at us today,” Wesson said according to NBC Los Angeles.
Los Angeles is expected to generate approximately $50 million in new tax revenues derived from recreational marijuana sales.
One of the key components of the new regulations involves a “social equity” program. City officials will favor business applicants from those who have been convicted of certain marijuana crimes or from individuals living in areas where marijuana arrests are higher than normal.
This was a consideration that advocates have been trying to get approved for some time. Since non-whites are much likelier to be charged with a marijuana crime, advocates wanted to make sure business opportunities are available for all members of the city.
Regulators still have to work out on-site consumption. Wesson has said that the council will continue to examine the issue. But for many tourists or residents not permitted to consume in their homes, there may be no legal place to use marijuana in Los Angeles.