As California moves forward with the appropriate steps toward building the infrastructure of what is likely to be the most active and thriving cannabis industry in the world, the pieces continue to fall into place. Many smaller cities across the state have begun to welcome and embrace the industry as they anticipate receiving the financial gains that will come through the increased jobs and tax revenue. Cities in Los Angeles like Maywood, Lynwood and Huntington Park have begun issuing permits to cannabis businesses in order to boost local economy. This is especially true for locations such as Maywood where they have found themselves in debt that cannot be paid in any other foreseeable manner. For these places, the cannabis industry offers the chance for relief.
California Embraces a Future with Recreational Marijuana
Outside of major cities, in places such as Oakland and Adelanto, the cannabis industry appears to be a new found source of economic growth. Adelanto is working to sell off land to cannabis cultivators as a prime place to grow the plant and the Northern California city of Oakland has already received over 100 applications from interested parties looking to set up marijuana businesses. As an effort to give back to those who were damaged by prohibition, at least half of the permits given out in Oakland will go to people who have received cannabis related convictions in the past.
Los Angeles Issues “Certificates of Compliance”
Los Angeles itself, however, has not been so accommodating. The city is refusing to issue business licenses to cannabis related businesses. Instead they are planning to give out “certificates of compliance” to businesses that plan to sell the plant. This means that these businesses will be given “limited immunity” allowing them to operate within the city, so long as they comply with state and city laws and regulations when it comes to marijuana. No such certificate of compliance exists for cultivators, testers or producers of edibles and other marijuana related products. The businesses will need to operate outside city limits.
A City Indifferent to Legalization
This reflects the general attitude when it comes to how the city and LAPD have been dealing with marijuana related businesses. Many businesses have experienced being raided and persecuted, regardless of the fact that California overwhelmingly voted to legalize the plant. Several companies are moving to more cannabis friendly locations so that they can move forward and run their businesses in peace. “It’s as if LAPD and potentially the city attorney’s office and marijuana task force division have turned a blind eye to the fact we have legalized marijuana,” explained Ariel Clark, chair of the L.A. Cannabis Task Force. She said that she’s had “lengthy conversations with many clients who are saying, ‘I don’t know if I even want to go through with this process.’”
Until the city habituates itself to the new law and starts to allow these businesses to operate without incident, the Los Angeles legal marijuana market may be off to a shakier start than many anticipated. While the plant remains illegal on a federal level, many bipartisan bills are in place this year to potentially change that for the future.