illegal

Los Angeles Cannabis Regulator Wants City to Adopt Rules to Shut Down Illegal Cannabis Businesses

The city of Los Angeles wants to shutter all unlicensed cannabis businesses. The Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) submitted a memo to the City Council on December 27, 2018 recommending certain measures to combat the hundreds of unlicensed cannabis businesses. The DCR approved these enforcement strategies during its November 29, 2018 meeting.

The DCR has recommended that the Los Angeles City Council adopt regulations to permit city officials to:

  • Cut off utility and power services to illegal cannabis businesses;

  • Bring enforcement actions against employees of unlicensed cannabis businesses;

  • Barricade, lock, or fence unlicensed businesses that fail to comply with a cease and desist orders

  • Permit Building and Safety Inspectors to perform non-criminal enforcement of illegal cannabis businesses;

  • Require licensed businesses to display a placard so that the public can identify a licensed cannabis business;

  • Force an eviction process by sending a cease and desist order to landlords; and

  • Notify business partners, creditors, banks etc. that the cannabis business is illegal.

The recommendations are the result of the City Council’s request in July 2018 for the city’s agencies to draft a report on enforcement operations including cannabis enforcement data and cost of operations. The report dated November 9, 2018 indicated that the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) executed 143 search warrants on unlicensed businesses, and made 435 arrests over the past year. 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.

The recommendations define the jurisdictional responsibility in Los Angeles for enforcing cannabis licensing requirements. The LAPD is responsible for significant criminal activity or complaints. The DCR is responsible for developing enforcement strategies that will close unlicensed cannabis businesses.

Los Angeles Prioritizes the Shuttering of Unlicensed Cannabis Businesses

The city of Los Angeles wants to shutter all unlicensed cannabis businesses. Unlicensed cannabis businesses are not paying taxes or following cannabis regulations. This raises public safety concerns. In July of this year, the City Council directed the city’s agencies to draft a report on enforcement operations including cannabis enforcement data and cost of operations. In the report dated November 9, 2018, the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) indicated that, over the past year, it executed 143 search warrants on unlicensed businesses, and made 435 arrests. The LAPD 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.

Los Angeles is defining the jurisdictional responsibility for enforcing cannabis licensing requirements. The LAPD is responsible for significant criminal activity or complaints. The Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) is responsible for developing enforcement strategies that will close unlicensed cannabis businesses. At a November 29, 2018 meeting, the Cannabis Regulation Commission voted to recommend that the Los Angeles adopt regulations to permit city officials to:

  • Cut off utility and power services to illegal cannabis businesses;

  • Bring enforcement actions against employees of unlicensed cannabis businesses;

  • Barricade, lock, or fence unlicensed businesses that fail to comply with a cease and desist orders

  • Permit Building and Safety Inspectors to perform non-criminal enforcement of illegal cannabis businesses;

  • Require licensed businesses to display a placard so that the public can identify a licensed cannabis business;

  • Force an eviction process by sending a cease and desist order to landlords; and

  • Notify business partners, creditors, banks etc. that the cannabis business is illegal.

These creative enforcement strategies rely on local ordinances to prevent illegal businesses from obtaining a brick-and-mortar storefront. The bigger challenge will be addressing transient business models such as delivery services.

POSSESSING CBD OIL IN OHIO IS ILLEGAL

Only medical marijuana dispensaries can sell CBD oil in Ohio.  Under Ohio law, CBD oil falls under the definition of marijuana, and is subject to the same regulations.  Medical marijuana dispensaries will need to comply with the known  source requirements, understand the active ingredients, and ensure that the product is tested.  Testing can only be performed by laboratories that are licensed by the Ohio Department of Commerce.  

Ohio announced the approval of 56 medical dispensaries in June.  However, the medical dispensaries must show the state that they can operate before receiving a certificate to engage in business.  Until that time, possession of CBD oil or marijuana is illegal.,