Los Angeles to Shut Off Illegal Pot Shops' Electricity

Los Angeles will soon be adopting an ordinance that is aimed at shutting down illegal pot shops. The Los Angeles City Council directed the City Attorney to draft an ordinance as quickly as possible. At a meeting held on February 26, 2019, City Council members voiced their frustration over the inability to effectively shut down the illegal operations that are not following the rules. Illegal pot shops reduce the city’s overall tax revenues and engage in criminal activities.

The proposed ordinance would allow the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to disconnect utility services after the Department of Cannabis Regulation has informed the illegal pot shop that it needs a license to operate, and a Los Angeles city department confirms that illegal cannabis activity is occurring at the address

The city of Los Angeles started to focus on shutting unlicensed cannabis businesses in July 2018. The Los Angeles Police Department issued a report on November 9, 2018 that noted that, in the last year, it executed 143 search warrants on unlicensed businesses, and made 435 arrests. The LAPD also confiscated 67 firearms, over $600,000 in money and 34,852 pounds of cannabis. The arrests did little to stop the reopening of the unlicensed businesses. The LAPD indicated that additional enforcement efforts are needed as the misdemeanor charges for most violations is not adequate.