Los Angeles Lays the Foundation for the Future of Marijuana

This week the City Hall of Los Angeles, decided to release some draft regulations for Measure M. Measure M was voted on earlier this year by citizens, and would ensure that a new set of rules would be created on all aspects of the cannabis industry. This would include the hours of operation for licensed dispensaries to how they market their products. Measure M also "imposes a local gross receipts tax of 5% for medical cannabis sales (down from the current 6%), 10% for recreational cannabis, and 1%-2% for companies involved in transportation, research and cultivation, which are not currently regulated or taxed by the city. Finally, it would establish criminal and civil penalties for businesses that violate the new marijuana regulations, and authorize the Department of Water and Power to shut off utilities in illegal pot shops," according to the L.A Times.   

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But now that City Hall is drafting regulations for Measure M, it seems to just be a starting point for discussion. The most important question -- which dispensaries would get their local licenses first -- doesn't seem to be addressed clearly. According to LA Weekly, "the proposed rules don't make it entirely clear how the city would determine which shops get to be first in line for local licenses. Under voter-approved Proposition D, only about 135 dispensaries enjoy limited legal immunity from prosecution. Those business's are supposed to enjoy priority for licensing under the draft regulations." 

The proposal also addresses growers and manufactors in the cannabis industry, stating that they will be able to continue operating while their applications are being processed. The regulations also are looking out for employees in the Los Angeles area, by requiring employers to have at least one-third of their business's work hours to be performed by Los Angeles residents. 

Since these are just proposed regulations, there will be 60 days of dialogue and discussion with the public, so these regulations could be revised. Council President Herb J. Wesson, Jr said "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. 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."