Today is the day Los Angeles County begins accepting applications for licenses permitting businesses to sell marijuana for recreational, adult use.
The passage of Proposition 64 last November made the State of California the fifth state to permit the sale and consumption of marijuana recreationally. Although state applications for recreational sales were made available the following month, dispensaries must still apply for a separate license permitting such sales within their county. The delayed application process left many consumers in L.A. County confused.
“We thought we’d be able to buy today (January 1st)... we thought this was just a simple statewide thing,” said Edgar Molina of Mid-City.
The process for prospective vendors is even slower, as L.A. County prioritizes existing medical dispensaries with valid tax certificates.
With the “Green Rush” causing a frenzy among cannabis entrepreneurs and dispensary owner hopefuls, the delayed county application is just another bullet point in a list of restrictions established Los Angeles county’s regulatory framework to phase in recreational sale and consumption.
The restrictions for vendors include:
- Operating within 700 feet of schools, public parks, or drug treatment centers.
- Operating in communities like Playa Vista and other popular destinations within the county.
- Products meant for recreational use must be pre-packaged.
“We’re in a period of massive transformation in cannabis policy,” said Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), a pioneer legislator for statewide cannabis policy.
With that massive transformation comes heavy regulation and reporting. Stipulations for licensing also include the use of tracking software that allows state and local governments to track sales of dispensaries.
Los Angeles based cannabis software company, WebJoint
, aims to make this transition to recreational sales easier for current and prospective vendors by integrating L.A. county’s tax laws and inventory tracking regulations into its software.
“We’re an all in one traceability and point-of-sale software for dispensaries and delivery services from seed to sale. Our goal is to help current and future cannabis vendors with compliance and staying within the bounds of state and local laws and regulations,” explains CEO Christopher Dell’Olio
Though today is a significant moment for L.A. County’s cannabis industry, the city’s regulations has left consumers confused and vendors scrambling to keep up with compliance.