On Friday of last week, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office filed charges against more than 500 people in relation to unlicensed cannabis sales since May of this year. Los Angeles Police Department has raiding hundreds of dispensaries that were operating without a cannabis business license and now people involved are feeling the repercussions.
Crackdown on Illicit Cannabis
Since a major crackdown on unlicensed cannabis sales back in late May, 120 criminal cases have been filed with those involved charged with unlicensed commercial cannabis activity. If convicted the accused could face six months in jail and a fine of $1,000.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer is determined to eliminate these black market marijuana businesses and give licensed cannabis business a fair shot at operating in a regulated market. He is confident that the charges brought against 515 defendants will go a long way in eradicating unlicensed cannabis sales in Los Angeles.
Eliminating Black Market
City Attorney Feuer stated that, “If they’re going to go through this process, it just cannot be the case that others that flout the rules are allowed to function. It’s bad for those who buy from them, it’s bad for the communities in which they’re located and, again, it threatens to undermine the viability of a system that’s predicated on lawful licensing.”
So far only 21 people have plead guilty or no contest to the charges, while 11 cases were dismissed, 10 are on a bench warrant and the rest are still pending waiting for an arraignment. Mike Feuer notes that, “It’s important that every element of the new recreational marijuana regime in our state be implemented in a way the voters anticipated in the first place.”
Allowing Legal Market to Thrive
The City of Los Angeles is focussed on preventing consumers from purchasing marijuana that contains dangerous toxins while allowing licensed businesses that have done their due diligence to reap the rewards of a legal marketplace.
The criminal cases were not limited to just unlicensed marijuana retailers but also included cultivation operations, extraction labs, and delivery services. This should serve as a warning to all marijuana businesses making unlicensed cannabis sales, and motivate them to submit a business license application with BCC.