As California braces for the impact of relaxed marijuana laws that allow recreational use for adults, several small, financially strapped cities in southeast Los Angeles County and elsewhere are at the forefront of efforts to seize business opportunities — despite pushback from some residents.
In Los Angeles County, cities like Maywood are approving marijuana licenses in anticipation of boosting local economies, creating jobs and filling commercial lots. Huntington Park has issued three permits, and Lynwood is negotiating development agreements with 13 applicants for marijuana businesses.
Elsewhere, the desert town of Adelanto has tried to sell itself as a place for growers with a 30-acre industrial park divided into units that will be sold to marijuana cultivators for $7.5 million each. And in Northern California, Oakland has received more than 100 applications for marijuana businesses under a city program where at least half of available permits will be granted to applicants that include individuals with marijuana-related convictions.
In contrast, under a proposed plan for Los Angeles, marijuana growers and sellers would receive a “certificate of compliance” instead of a business license or permit. Marijuana businesses in L.A. would remain illegal but could operate with “limited immunity” from criminal prosecution if they follow city and state laws.
Maywood has already collected more than $90,000 in license application fees for its medical marijuana businesses, including cultivation, manufacturing and dispensary use, according to city spokesman Robert Alaniz.
“A small jurisdiction like that could raise tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of revenue each year by having marijuana dispensaries within their jurisdiction,” said Patrick Murphy, research director of the Public Policy Institute of California, adding that much depends on