A growing problem: Cannabis retailers want LA’s unlicensed pot shops shuttered

The Southern California Coalition said legal shops can't compete with illegal ones that sell "tainted" products

Jun.June 11, 2019 10:59 AM
Southern California Coalition Executive Director Adam Spiker and City Hall
Southern California Coalition Executive Director Adam Spiker and City Hall

The legal cannabis industry is asking Los Angeles officials to crack down on illegal retailers in the city.

The cannabis industry group, Southern California Coalition, sent a letter to the city, urging officials to raid illegal shops selling “tainted” products and confiscate products and cash, according to the Los Angeles Times. Currently, the city does not seize products or cash following raids.

Illegal retailers present a serious threat to some legal brick-and-mortar pot purveyors. Unlicensed shops outnumber legal ones in the city, which pay taxes and must abide by quality-control standards and local regulations.

Because of those reasons, the Southern California Coalition said that licensed shops can’t compete with the unlicensed ones.

Landlords have largely avoided heat from the city for renting out their spaces to unlicensed shops, but officials have started to pursue them as well. Earlier this year, the city’s top cannabis regulator said L.A. should should start enforcing the laws it has on the books.

Those include a $20,000-per-day fine to landlords for allowing unlicensed operations on their properties, along with cutting off utilities, and padlocking retail spaces.

In April, the L.A. city attorney sued the DAUM Commercial Real Estate agents who brokered a deal for an illegal shop, as well as the landlord and the retailer. City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office has brought 120 criminal cases against 105 allegedly illegal businesses as of September, it has said. [LAT] Dennis Lynch

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