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Los Angeles Officials Move to Change Rules for Local Legal Cannabis Market

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles City Council committee members last week took action to “reboot” the local legal cannabis market, according to media reports. Revisions to local regulations would expand licensing and resources for cannabis industry members who have suffered negative effects from the war on drugs.

The revisions included suggested changes “such as limiting delivery licenses until 2025 only to businesses that meet so-called social-equity benchmarks,” local news outlet KTLA5 said.

KTLA5 also reported that Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation Executive Director and General Manager Cat Packer said the connection “between cannabis policy and racial injustice is clear to me. Black and brown communities … have been disproportionately impacted, disproportionately policed, and we made a commitment to actively acknowledge those harms and address the harms of the drug war.”

Changes would allow cannabis businesses “to relocate while being licensed, clarify what employees are required to have background checks, and streamline the application process,” KTLA5 said.

The changes come amid California cannabis industry calls for reform from stakeholders and small businesses. Potentially the largest legal market in the U.S., the state’s cannabis businesses have been beset by competition from illicit vendors, ever-increasing taxes and fees, and losses due to the pandemic—despite having been declared an “essential service.”

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