Now that the Los Angeles City Council has signed off on regulations for the recreational cannabis industry, they’re poised to become the largest US city with legalized marijuana on January 1.
The new regulations were voted in 12-0 and City Council President Herb Wesson believes they will be a model for other cities that go legal
And though the complicated regulations are not yet set in stone, they do provide cannabis business owners, imbibers and growers a solid set of guidelines for rollout.
Retail cannabis stores will not be allowed within 750 feet of schools, public parks and the like, while growers will need to be at least 600 feet away. The rules also limit the number of stores, manufacturers and growers within the city limits of Los Angeles.
In a push back against the failed Drug War, LA will be prioritizing licenses for those who have had low-level cannabis charges leveled against them and to those living in low-income neighborhoods.
California was the first state in the country to permit medical marijuana with the passage of Prop 215 in 1996, and while it has taken 20 years to obtain full legalization, pass it did. Experts project that the industry will have a $7 billion value and bring in $1 billion in tax revenue.
All in all, 29 states and the District of Columbia have voted in some sort of legalization law, be it medical or recreational. Seven of which plus DC have legalized it outright.
While marijuana remains illegal on the federal level, states have continued business as usual in the hopes that the feds will stay out of cannabis business. There is a fear that with Attorney General Jeff Sessions in office that it could be overturned, but for now the tide is in marijuana’s favor.
With support for cannabis at an all-time high in the US, far more than the majority are in favor of legalization at this point. The cannabis industry continues to be optimistic while keeping their eyes on the legalization prize. Los Angeles has the prospect of being a serious model for change.