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The Los Angeles commission that oversees cannabis regulation advanced a proposal to the City Council Thursday that requests the creation of a law allowing city officials to padlock, barricade or fence in a property where marijuana is sold illegally without a license.
The request came from Los Angeles City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, which was deliberated by the city’s Cannabis Regulation Commission, and it asks the city to draft the enforcement measures.
“Unlicensed cannabis businesses violate city and state laws,” Harris-Dawson’s motion read. “Despite increased law enforcement efforts to shut down unlicensed cannabis businesses, they continue to open for business and thereby jeopardize public safety and customer health, along with making it harder for licensed and regulated businesses to survive the competitive cannabis marketplace.”
Thursday’s deliberation was about the initiating new enforcement measures that, if passed by the City Council, would later be discussed in detail.
Commission President Robert Ahn spoke during the meeting about the need for the enforcement in order to decrease the city’s unlicensed cannabis dispensaries.
“It’s a complex problem that really is unprecedented. As a city, we’ve never really had to deal with this,” Ahn said. “There’s not a silver bullet that will solver this over night. But I think it’s very critical that we utilize the resources that we have. We’ve got to minimize the illicit market.”
Ahn said illegal operators could be selling products that have not been tested or approved by regulators and that they could be selling to minors, which is illegal.
“It’s an unequal playing field. You’ve got situations where you’ve got a licensed … dispensary that has to contend with a competitor just a few doors down that’s selling (cannabis) for a third of the cost,” Ahn said. “I think we have to do everything that we can