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Los Angeles establishes ground rules for emerging recreational marijuana industry

Los Angeles Weed Shops

On Wednesday, Los Angeles City Council is going to vote on a new set of regulations that limit where and how marijuana businesses can operate within the city. These detailed regulations have been meticulously reviewed and updated through a string of city hearings over the past few weeks. They will establish the rules and regulations for what is now being called one of ‘the hottest marijuana markets in the country’.

“You don’t have a lot of opportunities to make history — and that’s what we’re doing here,” City Council President Herb Wesson said to the L.A. Times.

Among many of the regulations, some of the rules will state how the weed shops will be inspected, impose requirements for security and video surveillance, as well as prohibit the consumption of marijuana and alcohol on site.

Population ratios in each community area will determine the maximum number of marijuana shops, manufacturers and other marijuana businesses. Planning officials have not released a finial number of the allowed shops because the regulations have been adjusted repeatedly over the past few weeks.

Los Angeles City Council rules going to be voted on currently state that weed shops would be restricted to specific commercial and industrial zones, and be barred from opening within 700 feet of schools, public parks, open space zones, public libraries, daycare centers, alcohol and drug treatment facilities and permanent supportive housing, as well as other pot shops.

Marijuana businesses that are not directly selling marijuana such as growers and manufacturers would be limited to the industrial zones and prohibited from operating within 600 feet of schools. Manufacturers using volatile solvents would be required to be at least 200 feet away from residential areas.

Recreational Marijuana Weed Shops Los Angeles

Los Angeles is set to approve weed shops that have been operating under Proposition D first for city licensing. These businesses have been operating under the earliest set of city restrictions. The manufacturers and growers that have been providing products and services for these weed shops can receive ‘temporary approval’ during the application process.

Los Angeles is prohibiting people with convictions from violent crimes, other serious offenses and distribution to minors charges from receiving marijuana licenses. The city will also deny licenses to felons convicted of drug charges other than marijuana on a case-by-case basis.

However, priority processing is available for applicants under the ‘social equity’ program. This program is designed to help poor people who have been convicted of marijuana charges or have lived in areas heavily affected by cannabis arrests. It aims to provide extra assistance to the hopeful marijuana entrepreneurs in communities hit hardest by the war on drugs.

For every license Los Angeles grants to a regular marijuana retailer it plans to hand out two licenses to ‘social equity’ participants. For every license it hands out to other kinds of marijuana businesses, it will hand out one to a ‘social equity’ applicant, according to the proposed rules.

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