DTLA—In Downtown Los Angeles, one doesn’t have to go far to find a shop selling recreational marijuana. There are dozens if not scores of outlets, most designated by the telltale green cross.
However, as Los Angeles Downtown News recently reported, only about 10 of the Central City locations have received all necessary permits and approvals from the state and the city Department of Cannabis Affairs. The others are operating illegally.
Some people may shrug this off, arguing that pot is legal in California, so what’s the big deal? But whatever your views on the drug, this situation poses a problem: Those businesses trying to play by the rules can be undercut on price and undermined by the many competitors, and most consumers will have no idea which outlets have acquired all necessary permits. To rectify this, Los Angeles needs a speedier approvals process and enforcement policies with teeth.
We know this isn’t easy. It requires Mayor Eric Garcetti to dedicate more funds so there can be additional staff at the Department of Cannabis Affairs. It requires money flowing to the LAPD so that entities such as the Central Gang and Narcotics Unit can keep up with the illicit businesses. It requires City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office to focus more personnel on this sector.
Published: April 23, 2019