What is the law in the City of Los Angeles?
Through the Task Force’s advocacy, the hard work of other organizations across LA, and the passage of Measure M, LA’s City Council is now writing regulations that will license cannabis businesses and regulate the industry going forward. We now have opportunity to create a legal, inclusive cannabis industry that reflects our city’s diversity and economic strength.
What does the Los Angeles Cannabis Task Force do?
Unlike many other industry organizations, the Task Force is a home for everyone across market sectors and license types. Our agenda is to speak with one powerful voice to create a diverse, fair cannabis industry in LA. A year ago, we began advocating for the overturn of Proposition D and a licensing system that aligns city and state laws. With the passage of Measure M, our real work has just started. Here’s an overview of the next six months:
- The City will write licensing regulations
- Businesses will apply for city licenses
- The City will review these applications and issue licenses
- Every business must then apply for and secure a state license
While this is an exciting time, things are moving quickly and there’s an enormous need for advocacy and oversight to ensure it’s a fair, transparent process that maximizes diversity and opportunity. We will be there every step of the way.
Who is the Task Force?
Our members include advocates, business owners, investors, patients, activists, and national leaders. We are dedicated to achieving an equitable, efficient, and effective regulatory system that reflects the concerns of all citizens of Los Angeles. We are the ONLY industry organization in the LA that advocates for the creation of licenses in all categories recognized by state law.
Why should I get involved?
LA is arguably the largest cannabis market in the world, with an already thriving industry that pours millions of dollars into the local economy. Cannabis enterprises employ thousands of people and represent the largest potential source of tax revenue of ANY business in the City. So, whether you’re a resident or simply want to do business here, you have a vested interest in how the City regulates this enormous market.
What does the Task Force want?
We want Mayor Garcetti and the City Council to:
- Bring Los Angeles’ cannabis industry into alignment with state law
- Regulate the industry in a fair and equitable manner, so that Los Angeles can assume its position as an industry leader
- Shift money and enforcement away from a prohibition model to a regulatory model
- Provide workers in the cannabis industry with basic legal standards of safety and protection
What can the Task Force achieve?
If LA is to responsibly reap the benefits of this emerging industry, the City must license delivery services, cultivators, manufacturers, and testing facilities. The Task Force is here to achieve that. Our goal is to engage in an honest, open dialogue with City leaders about the future of the cannabis industry, and help them embrace the new opportunities created by state law so that everyone in Los Angeles, from the industry to the citizenry at large, benefits. As the City Council repeals Prop D and writes the cannabis rules for the future, we will have our voice heard in the process.
How can I help?
Join us. To accomplish our goals, we must communicate with City leaders and provide them with smart, responsible policy options. To do this, the Task Force needs current and prospective business owners, employees, patients, consumers, ordinary citizens, and residents to join us make their voices heard. You can become a member of our organization here.
What is Proposition D?
LA voters passed Prop D in 2013. It outlawed all marijuana businesses, while giving limited immunity from prosecution to a few dispensaries that met certain criteria. The actual number of these, known as “Prop D compliant Pre-ICO dispensaries,”was thought to be 135 storefronts. However, because of the City Attorney's aggressive enforcement of minor technicalities, this number is likely lower.
Despite this ban, the City has issued tax certificates and collected millions of dollars of revenue from many non-Prop D dispensaries and other cannabis businesses in LA. It’s a gross injustice that while Prop D relegated cultivators, manufacturers, labs and delivery services onto a black market, the City simultaneously taxed many of these same businesses.
Measure M gives the City Council the ability to overturn Prop D, and they’ve indicated they’ll do so.
What is California state law?
The Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) took effect January 1, 2016, and the State will begin issuing medical cannabis business licenses in January 2018. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) was voted in by a majority of Californians on November 8, 2016 and licensing is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2018. The process for reconciling medical and recreational licensing is still under consideration by the State legislature.
MCRSA, and in effect AUMA, are both two-tier licensing systems. This means that before businesses can apply for a state license, they must have a local permit.
MCRSA and AUMA outline in great detail the need for licensing of all facets of the industry, including cultivation, transportation, manufacturing, distribution, and lab testing.
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