Los Angeles appears to be weeding its cannabis garden, so to speak, plucking out the “bad” stores and planting a bunch of “good” ones.

On July 8, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) announcedthat it had recently slapped twelve illegal bud retailers across Los Angeles county and the nearby San Bernardino county with warrants for unpaid taxes.

The CDTFA took no prisoners during its raids with the California Highway Patrol. According to a press release, the agencies “seized nearly a million dollars in illegal cannabis products that will be destroyed and approximately one hundred thousand dollars in cash that will be applied to tax liabilities.”

“The CDTFA’s collaboration with the CHP is an important deterrent to tax evasion,” said CDTFA Director Nick Maduros. “Tax evasion unfairly shifts the burden onto all other taxpayers and makes it tough for those businesses that are playing by the rules to survive.”

And there may be a lot more businesses playing by the rules soon enough.

Almost simultaneously, the City of Los Angeles earned attention for its decision to double the number of social equity retail cannabis licenses, which are specifically intended to advantage people of color and victims of the drug war.

The Los Angeles City Council’s decision came last fall, but recently made headlines in Marijuana Business Daily when it came to light that the move was likely the result of a lawsuit against the city. Madison Shockley III and the Social Equity Owners and Workers Association had originally sued the city and asked that the entire social equity licensing process from last year be redone.

As part of a settlement, the city agreed to simply double the number of social equity licenses it would issue from 100 to 200, instead of invalidating the licenses which had already been issued, Shockley said.

“Even if we won the injunction and won the lawsuit, the most we could win was basically a do-over on those first 100 licenses,” Shockley said. “So we were looking at 100 licenses versus 200, and clearly 200 was for the greater good.”

Photo via Flickr/Dank Depot

Natalie