The City of Los Angeles Takes Steps Toward Cannabis Regulation - Finally!

After months of delays, the City of Los Angeles has finally started accepting license applications for cannabis growers, manufacturers, and test labs! Although commercial activity became legal in California with Proposition 64 on January 1, 2018, the city had yet to grant approval to any cultivators, processors, or testing facilities. This was a huge burden for many entrepreneurs hoping to enter the industry, especially as they had been paying thousands of dollars in rent each month for commercial space that they still could not access.

Donnie Anderson, a cannabis retailer and cultivator, shared her hardship with the Press, saying they have been hanging on by the skin of their teeth. Retailers were forced to look outside of Los Angeles for supply relationships with license holders throughout the state.

The current Phase 2 licensing period is limited to businesses that have been operating since before January 1, 2016. Applicants must also qualify under the city’s social equity program. After this period closes, applications will be accepted from the general public in Phase 3 - the date for which has yet to be determined by the Department of Cannabis Regulation.

In better news for the industry, the city council opted against a ballot measure that would have added onerous taxes to cannabis businesses. Instead, they asked city staff to return within 45 days with new proposals to fund the Department of Cannabis Regulation

We can only hope that the licensing process will follow suit and speed up now that the city seems to finally be ready to move forward with cannabis regulation.