Cannabis Industry Supporters Rally Downtown

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by LA1 News Desk

   Cannabis business owners, patients, activists, workers and supporters rallied yesterday at City Hall to demand nine important changes to draft proposed requirements designed to regulate LA’s cannabis industry. The rally was led by The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770 (UFCW), United Cannabis Business Association (UCBA) and the Los Angeles Cannabis Task Force (LACTF).

   Following the rally, participants testified at the City Council’s Rules, Elections, and Intergovernmental Relations Committee Meeting. Eighty percent of LA voters voted Yes on Measure M, authorizing a licensing, taxation and regulatory structure for cannabis businesses. Yet under the draft proposed requirements, no cannabis business licenses will be issued. Without important changes, cannabis supporters argue that the proposed requirements will exacerbate public safety problems, perpetuate the failed war on drugs, and undermine the policy’s goal of promoting social equity within the industry.

   The coalition of cannabis support groups have nine asks:

1. Honor the will of 80% of LA voters who passed Measure M to license and regulate commercial cannabis businesses.
2. Reject the City Attorney’s proposed ordinances, which keep cannabis businesses illegal.
3. Create a robust social equity program that provides opportunities to workers and entrepreneurs from disadvantaged communities and those most impacted by the War on Drugs.
4. Ensure that cannabis licensees are required to be in compliance with City and state labor laws.
5. Maintain all sensitive use restrictions at 600-feet consistent with state law.
6. Issue local licenses for all categories designated under state law.
7. Issue local licenses before January 1, 2018 to existing cannabis dispensaries that are eligible for priority processing as required by Measure M.
8. Issue provisional licenses before January 1, 2018 for non-dispensary commercial cannabis activity (manufacturing, cultivation, distribution, labs, and delivery) to businesses that are in compliance with the City’s commercial cannabis zoning requirements.
9. Protect commercial cannabis businesses that comply with the City’s zoning and operational requirements from arbitrary enforcement during the application process.

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