Leafly: City Council Considers Cutting Off LA’s Cannabis Supply Chain (Ariel Clark)
That draft was just released last Friday, and it didn’t take long for many in the industry—particularly the growers, manufacturers and distributors—to realize they were getting the short end of the stick. Some groups didn’t even wait until today’s hearing to air their grievances.
“Currently, the city’s draft cannabis regulations includes language gravely concerning to the city’s patients, businesses, and employees and has the potential of shutting down the entire cannabis industry in LA—the city that has been named the world’s largest cannabis industry market,” the Southern California Coalition said in a statement sent over the weekend.
While the bulk of the proposed guidelines were fairly predictable, one clause came as a very unwelcome surprise. Under the new regulations, only the 135 existing Proposition D dispensaries will be able to apply for a provisional permit that allows them to operate while awaiting permanent licensing.
The rest of the cannabis industry, from growers to manufacturers, distributors and testing facilities, would be forced to shutter—or retreat to the black market—until their licensing process is complete. That process could take anywhere from four to nine months. That long a waiting period would be difficult for many small businesses to weather.
“It’s horrifying for business owners here and for their employees,” Ariel Clark, founder of the Los Angeles Cannabis Task Force, told Leafly. “It really just continues this attitude of criminalizing the industry.”
Los Angeles is expected to open the application process on December 1, with the Proposition D retailers receiving highest priority. It will be impossible for general applicants to file and receive approval before state laws take effect on Jan. 1 or 2. (The State Bureau of Cannabis Control keeps toggling between the two dates.) This means that come January, L.A.’s supply chain will be virtually shut down.