The country’s largest cannabis market has voted to license the sales and cultivation of recreational cannabis. The Los Angeles City Council voted to impose a series of regulations on Wednesday. The new rules will kick in as soon as Mayor Eric Garcetti signs them, as reported by The Associated Press.
The new regulations adopted by the city don’t just allow for the growing and selling of legal cannabis, they also add a whole host of stipulations and caveats to participating in the recreational marijuana business.
Some of widest-reaching effects of these regulations is that pot shops will be all but exiled from residential neighborhoods, as well as anywhere near libraries, parks, and schools.
In addition, regulations will be in place to help lower-income residents and those convicted of previous cannabis-related crimes secure jobs in the yet-to-be-born legal cannabis industry of Los Angeles through the use of various training programs.
“The other cities in this nation, they are looking to L.A.,” said City Council President Herb Wesson, though other lawmakers told the AP that the city’s current cannabis regulations are a work in progress.
Some in the local cannabis industry are a little more cautious about the effects of a massive change to the regulations of the cannabis market in Los Angeles. Adam Spiker, executive director of the Southern California Coalition, warned that if the legal market fails to meet the demands of consumers, “you are just giving oxygen to the black market we all want to eradicate.”
The next several years will probably be a headache for cannabis lawmakers and industry insiders alike, but the state expects the industry to soon value $7 billion.
San Francisco is expected to have the go ahead on legal weed come January 1. Come the first of the year, San Jose is going to convert its medical marijuana dispensaries into legal recreational pot shop. Los Angeles, for whatever reason, is probably going to take a bit longer.
Photo via Flickr user Dank Depot