Closing Illegal Marijuana Dispensaries at the Source

Prop D was passed by Los Angeles voters in 2013 to give access to medical patients to medical marijuana while preventing an inundation of marijuana dispensaries and problems that may be associated with these facilities. However since then, hundreds of medical marijuana shops that are non-compliant with Prop D have popped up around the City and in corridors such as the Van Nuys Blvd. 

Currently my team has been working with community members, LAPD and the Office of the City Attorney to create a list of non-compliant dispensaries and shut them down. Since taking office, I’ve been proud of our work that has resulted in more than 60% of these illegal shops within the 16 months I’ve been in office.

But there was still more to do and to begin, we needed to address problems within the City. That’s why I introduced a motion this week to immediately cease the practice of handing out City-issued Business Tax Registration Certificates (BTRCs) to illegal and non-Proposition D compliant medical marijuana dispensaries. The motion was referred to the Budget and Finance Committee.

We must create a united message from the City of Los Angeles that illegal shops will not be tolerated. Unfortunately for neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles, residents are forced to accept large concentrations of non-compliant medical marijuana dispensaries that often pop up overnight. Even worse, these illegal dispensaries attempt to deceive the public by pretending that their BTRCs are licenses to operate when, in reality, these are tax certificates.

I am against our City continuing to profit from illegal businesses that are impacting my residents and other neighborhoods in the City. As these individuals pay the price of these business while the City makes more money. The voters voted for access to medicine and not blight and I’ve introduced this motion to uphold their original intent.