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City Council Cracks Down on Unlicensed Pot Shops

In the valley, there is a proliferation of pot shops. Some are legal, many more are unlicensed.

Legal dispensaries, such as Atrium, So Cal Co-op and DC Collective, have gone through the city’s permitting process to get licensed and pay taxes and fees to the city of Los Angeles.

However, the unlicensed and unregulated ones have also long been on the city’s radar.

On Wednesday, the City Council adopted an ordinance that city departments may recover costs incurred through the abatement of, or enforcement activity against, unlicensed cannabis businesses. The council had originally asked the City Attorney to prepare the ordinance on May 10.

Different punitive approaches have been proposed to close down unlicensed operations, including shutting off their utilities or fining landlords who rent to unlicensed dispensaries.

Unlicensed cannabis businesses frequently violate numerous other regulations, including building codes, fire codes, rules regarding hazardous materials, etc., which are enforced by the Department of Building and Safety, Fire Department and others. This new ordinance strengthens the ability of these departments to recover enforcement costs from unlicensed businesses.

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