Recent developments in Los Angeles show that marijuana factions are now joining forces to fully permit the operation of cannabis shops in the city. A group that represents various quasi-legal marijuana shops in Los Angeles city will provide its support to help in legalizing these shops. The United Cannabis Business Alliance (UCBA) is removing its measure that had already qualified for the ballot in March. Instead of significantly splitting the pro-cannabis vote with initiatives that mainly seek the same goal, the UCBA declared that it will instead give its support for Proposition M that was approved for the ballot by the Los Angeles City Council in November 2016. The UCBA felt that it was important to collaborate to bring more reforms in marijuana. The board of directors in this organization established that the best strategy to ensure uniform marijuana regulations for communities, patients and pot business was by working closely with the City Council of Los Angeles instead of going after approval the initiative that they had drafted through the voters. These were sentiments shared through their president, Mr. Jerred Kiloh.
The precise language of Proposition M that was the pet project of City Council president, Mr. Herb Wesson has not yet been established. However, Wesson’s office expressed support for both the decriminalization of marijuana delivery services and an increase of the number of cannabis shops in Los Angeles to more than 135 that are currently enjoying limited legal protection. These two sides have been having their differences. On one part, UCBA claims to have the biggest trade association for these quasi-legitimate shops. As a result, the organization has persistently been opposed to the decriminalization of third-party weed delivery services. At the same time, the group has not seemingly been enthusiastic concerning the expansion of the number of marijuana shops.
At the moment, there are about 135 or less medical cannabis dispensaries that enjoy a quasi-legal situation in Los Angeles. This was made possible through Proposition D that was passed in the city in 2013. However, this is subject to change following the passage of Proposition 64 at the state level during the 2016 elections. The new marijuana laws through Proposition 64 allow the consumption of recreational pot in California. However, the laws have well-defined provisions that allow only adults of 21 years and over to cultivate, possess and use weed. That aside, the other thing that may impact on the latest developments in the establishment of marijuana shops in Los Angeles is California’s Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) that provides for local permission should medical weed dispensaries desire to operate starting January, 2018.
The Southern California Coalition that was the first supporter of Wesson’s strategy was a representation of another significant group of quasi-legal marijuana shops from where customers buy marijuana in the city. According to one of its founders, Virgil Grant, the coalition seeks to ensure that as many as 495 marijuana shops are fully legitimized in Los Angeles. According to Grant, there are as many as 1500 cannabis dispensaries within the limits of the city where most of them have been conducting their operations illegally. Therefore, shutting over 1000 marijuana dispensaries while seeking to decriminalized another 500 could be a solution to Los Angeles’ appetite for marijuana. The proposal by Wesson would turn over Proposition D and leave everything to the City Council to finally decide on the number of shops to be legalized. Under the new recreational cannabis law of California, marijuana shops that get the permission of local and state officials can sell recreational marijuana to people aged 21 years and above from January 2018. Therefore, it is expected that the marijuana market will continue to expand and that many of the medical cannabis dispensaries in Los Angeles will change to start doing recreational sales. Even with the legalization of recreational marijuana in California, first time users are running to medical marijuana doctors to enquire about the use of cannabis.
The growth of the marijuana industry is good news to all cannabis advocates. However, there are a lot of changes expected to take place in the coming months. All these developments are happening while the federal government continues to regard marijuana as an illegal substance. Most importantly, there is a new administration coming in and its position will contribute a lot in defining the future of marijuana in the United States. The incoming president Donald Trump expressed his opinion concerning the industry and vehemently stated that the issue of marijuana was a matter left to individual states to regulate. However, his recent appointments have caused some fears among weed supporters. Senator Jeff Sessions, an anti-marijuana lobbyist was appointed to be Trump’s attorney general and this has caused panic to marijuana entrepreneurs in California. However, experts say that there is nothing to worry about considering that some of Trump’s supporters are deeply involved in the business. Therefore, legal weed shops in LA may finally come to exist even with the prevailing situation.