The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday took a step toward allowing cannabis businesses to operate in the city, approving a set of recommendations for a permitting program that would regulate a variety of marijuana businesses, including retailers, growers, distributors and manufacturers.
The council requested that the city attorney prepare an ordinance regulating how cannabis businesses would be allowed to operate and what they need to do to qualify and apply for licenses.
The vote moves forward a key portion of the city’s regulations around commercial cannabis activity, but other rules are still works in progress.
Planning and land use regulations for where cannabis businesses can be located are still being deliberated. And city leaders are still working to create a program that aims to prioritize and give a leg up to communities that have been disproportionately disadvantaged by drug crime enforcement under what has come to be known as the war on drugs.
The commercial cannabis business licensing and operating rules are expected to be taken up at a Nov. 20 meeting, along with the other issues. The earliest chance for a vote by the full council is not expected to be until early December, close to when the the state is expected to begin accepting applications for licenses on Jan. 2.
Cannabis businesses that want to operate in California must obtain a local license before they can apply for a state license.
Cities do not need to have regulation in place to legalize cannabis businesses, but Los Angeles voters in March approved Measure M, which calls for repealing Proposition D, an existing 2013 ban on marijuana businesses, by Jan. 1. That deadline, however, can be extended by a City Council vote.
Meanwhile, Measure M enables