MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
I SUPPORT AN INCLUSIVE CANNABIS INDUSTRY THAT IS ALIGNED WITH STATE LAW.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is California’s state law?
The Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) was enacted by the California legislature and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown last year, and took effect January 1, 2016. MCRSA provides opportunities for new employment and businesses, fosters diversity and emerging entrepreneurs, and protects the rights and safety of all citizens. MCRSA outlines in great detail the need for licensing of all facets of the industry, including cultivation, transportation, manufacturing, distribution, and lab testing.
If there’s a state law, why is the Los Angeles Cannabis Task Force necessary?
Current cannabis regulations in Los Angeles are not aligned with MCRSA, which is hurting existing businesses, healthcare providers and patients, and putting enormous burdens on law enforcement.
MCRSA is a two-tier licensing system, meaning, before businesses can apply for a state license, they must have a local permit. But the City has no licensing system that will satisfy MCRSA’s categories and conditions. Instead, we are saddled with Prop D, an outdated system that prevents the Los Angeles cannabis industry from participating in the broadened opportunities MCRSA creates.
Proposition D, which the City passed in 2013, outlaws all marijuana businesses, but promises limited immunity from prosecution to a subset of dispensaries that met certain criteria. The actual number of these dispensaries, which are known as Prop D compliant Pre-ICO dispensaries, was thought to be 135 storefronts, but, because of the City Attorney's aggressive enforcement of minor technicalities, is likely less than that.
Despite this ban, the City has issued tax certificates and collected millions of dollars of revenue from numerous non-Prop D dispensaries and other cannabis businesses that serve the needs of patients across Los Angeles. Ironically, although these businesses are recognized by MCRSA as essential and legal components of a vibrant and regulated industry, Prop D ignores and refuses to license anything, thereby relegating cultivators, manufacturers, labs, delivery services, and the like into an illegal black market.
Because these components of the industry are essential if the needs of patients are to be served, they deserve proper legal recognition. This disconnection between local and state law is something the Task Force is determined to correct.
What does the Task Force want?
We want Mayor Garcetti and the City Council to:
- Bring Los Angeles’ cannabis industry into compliance with state law.
- Regulate the cannabis 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 the prohibition approach to the regulation model.
- Provide workers in the cannabis industry with basic legal standards of safety and protection.
What can the Task Force do?
If Los Angeles is to responsibly reap the benefits of this emerging industry, the City must change local law, create a fair licensing system, and authorize and regulate delivery services, cultivators, manufacturers, and testing. The Task Force is here to achieve that. Our goal is to provide 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. Right NOW is our opportunity to change that. As the City Council looks to reform Prop D, we must have our voice heard in the process.
Who is the Task Force?
The Task Force is made up of people with diverse backgrounds, both inside and outside the cannabis industry in Los Angeles. We include advocates, existing business owners, investors, patients, and activists. 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 umbrella organization in the City of Los Angeles that advocates the creation of licenses in all categories recognized by state law.
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 sign up for more information or donate.
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