On December 1, 2022, the Los Angeles Controller released a report (PDF here) with a pretty lame pun as a name: “High Maintenance: Review of the City’s Cannabis Regulation Efforts.” While the report’s name is bland, it reveals the pretty dire state of Los Angeles’s cannabis regulation and licensing. Since opening up for licensing, LA has been mired in controversies. Even for those of us who have practiced here for a long time, the report can be shocking at times. Indeed, one of the main conclusions of the report is that:
Overall, we found that the City should do more to close down unlicensed cannabis businesses, refine tools to deter additional unlicensed businesses from entering the market, monitor licensed cannabis businesses for regulatory compliance, mitigate the risk of tax evasion by cannabis businesses, and proactively determine how cannabis business tax revenue should be spent.
To say this is an understatement is itself and understatement. The report is long and I encourage anyone focused on LA cannabis to give it a hard read; or at least to read the executive summary in the first link at the top of this post. That said, I’ll highlight some of what I think are