Voters signal overwhelming support to create a licensing system for cannabis activity in the City of LA

 LOS ANGELES, October 13, 2016 –The Los Angeles City Clerk has validated signatures gathered by the United Cannabis Business Alliance (UCBA) and Citizens’ Coalition to Protect Patients and Neighborhoods to place the “Los Angeles Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act” on the March 2017 City Ballot. Proponents gathered over 104,000 signatures from registered voters in less than six weeks to qualify the new ordinance, which will bring Los Angeles into compliance with new state cannabis laws.

The new measure establishes the Los Angeles Department of Medical Marijuana Regulation which will have authority to issue and enforce permits for marijuana sales, cultivation, manufacturing, testing, distribution and transportation as permitted under state law.  In addition to creating an annually reviewable cannabis activity permit, the City Council will have the authority to adjust the regulations as necessary, without having to go back to the voters.

Jerred Kiloh, the President of the UCBA, stated that “for so long, the City, its residents and the industry were living with unclear rules, no permitting system and ad hoc enforcement. The ballot measure creates a framework for the City to regulate the cannabis industry. Our measure is inclusive, fair and will bring relief to neighborhoods that are oversaturated by illegal operators.”

Rick Icaza, President of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 770 added: “the Los Angeles Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act will ensure that the Los Angeles cannabis industry will be in compliance with the new state law and that workers will be able to have a voice in ensuring fair working conditions, living wages and work place safety.  UFCW Local 770 supports the economic and social diversity that must take place for the new cannabis industry to be successful in Los Angeles and it has confidence that with this initiative the City Council will be able to achieve that end.”

In 2013, 63 percent of Los Angeles voters approved Proposition D, which granted limited immunity to 135 medical marijuana dispensaries. Since the passage of Proposition D, more than 1,000 illegal operators have impacted neighborhoods. Many of the illegal locations are open within close proximity to schools, churches and parks, and few, if any illegal dispensaries pay state and local taxes. It is estimated that the City of Los Angeles could receive 70 to 100 million dollars in increased business taxes annually.

“We will now begin educating the public and the City on our measure and how it allows cannabis enterprises to enter the Los Angeles market while ensuring enforcement, taxation and public safety issues are satisfied. We envision a collaborative discussion between the industry, neighborhoods and the City to provide accountability, security and opportunity within the regulations” noted Kiloh.

In October 2015, the state passed the “Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act” (MMRSA) which requires any local jurisdiction to explicitly permit or license cannabis activity.  This initiative is necessary to ensure that after January 1, 2018, the voter-approved Proposition D entities as well as newly City-approved cannabis businesses will be in compliance with state law.

About the UCBA:

UCBA Trade Association, is a trade association of Proposition D compliant medical marijuana dispensaries operating legally within the City of Los Angeles.  The association’s charter members include over 40 of the 135 legally authorized medical marijuana dispensaries in the City of Los Angeles. For more information, please visit our website at www.ucbatradeassn.com

 Media Inquiries: Harvey Englander (213) 741.1500 x 518 or Harvey@ekapr.com