Los Angeles may soon become America’s hottest cannabis market!

LA lawmakers have recently approved a sweeping set of rules legitimizing the incoming recreational cannabis industry in California.

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The regulations were drafted in March this year. These rules spell out requirements for businesses that grow, process and distribute cannabis. Now they would require state licenses to operate and follow a specific set of rules. These regulations set out how business can operate, the licensing process, operating hours, what records they must keep and security system they must install. A different set of zoning rules decides where they can open their cannabis businesses.

Now the entire council will take up the rules for a vote before the city attorney drafts the law for final approval.

Challenges for Existing Businesses

Industry groups say that current dispensaries, which operate with medical licenses, may shut down as they wait for their licenses under the new legislation. But Council President Herb Wesson said he understands the flaws will try his best to deal with it. He assured to prevent the revenue loss for existing businesses.

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Medical weed is legal in California since 1966. Voters finally approved recreational weed in 2016, and it is set to be effective since January onwards.

Los Angeles alone expects up to make $50 million tax revenue from annual recreational sales.

The city made $21 million tax revenue in 2016 from medical marijuana industry.

January’s debut of legal recreational pot comes with hurdles, like higher price due to high taxes. You can’t smoke within 800 feet of places like bars, parks, schools, and beaches. Hotels also ban smoking, making it almost impossible for tourists to light up.

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Initially, the plan was to create a registry for all kinds of marijuana businesses. This registry was supposed to allow growers and manufacturers to continue with their business while their applications were being processed. The plan changed with revised regulations warns that exiting pot shops may have to wait months for municipal licenses.

After hearing the issues, Wesson gave the registry a pause to find an efficient alternative to moving forward.

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Californians are expected to take a cue from Colorado and come up with ways to circumvent the open-space smoking restriction. These include commissioning buses and private buildings!

In Colorado, it is legal to retail sale marijuana since January 2014. According to VS Strategies

Colorado has earned $506 million tax revenue from marijuana sales.

Six other states including Oregon, Washington State, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada and Alaska, and Washington, D.C. has also legalized recreational weed and hit huge revenues last year.

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