Cannabis growers, manufacturers, and test labs can now apply for a license in the City of Los Angeles, after months of waiting. On Wednesday, the Department of Cannabis Regulation in the city of Los Angeles started acquiring license applications on its web portal.
The City of Los Angeles has been condemned for delaying the process of granting permits to commercial cannabis businesses. In the meantime, only 150 retail shops have received approval. Cultivators, processors, or testing facilities hare still to gain a license to operate in Los Angeles. Major cities such as Oakland and San Diego started acquiring licenses months before legalization.
On January 1st, Commercial activities in the cannabis industry gain approval in California under Prop 64. However, before companies continue doing business, they must first acquire permission from the state and the local jurisdiction in their state of residence.
The suspension has been a worry for people who want to start cannabis businesses in Los Angeles. A lot of people have paid vast sums of money in rent each month for commercial areas that can’t be used until they gain approval.
According to Donnie Anderson, who is a cannabis retailer and cultivator, it has been difficult to wait out the process, and they have waited for too long.
The city of Los Angeles lacks licensed growers and manufacturers. Thus the retail shops that have received approval must seek elsewhere for the product to fill their shelves. According to Aaron Lachant, an attorney in the field of cannabis law, the retailers have discovered new supply relationships with licensees across the state.
In Phase 2 licensing period, the applications which can be accepted are limited to businesses that began operations before January 1, 2016. The applicant must have supplied to a current medical marijuana dispensary before 2017 and must be qualified under the social equity program of the city of Los Angeles. Applicants will have 30 days to submit their applications.
The first stage of license application processing for retail businesses who were functioning following the medical marijuana ordinance Proposition M closed in early March. The department will start acquiring licenses to open cannabis businesses from the public in stage 3 of the licensing process. The Department of Cannabis Regulation is yet to decide the third of the licensing process.
The Department of Cannabis Regulation of Los Angeles is yet to decide when the first licenses for cannabis growers, manufacturers, and test labs will be issued. Last month, the executive director and general manager of the agency, Cat Packer, said that the city was still in the stage of establishing regulations and did not want to commit to a deadline.
Recently, the city council of Los Angeles decided against a ballot measure that could add new taxes to marijuana businesses in the city. The board wants to place the Cannabis Reinvestment Act on the ballot for the ongoing November election.
If the bill were successful, the ordinance would have placed a one percent tax on gross receipts of cannabis businesses, plus each lab test and cannabis event ticket will receive a $5-dollar tax. However, the council ordered the city staff to come back in 45 days with new proposals to fund the Department of Cannabis Regulation.