LOS ANGELES --(Susan Abram, Los Angeles Daily News)-- With less than six months to go until recreational marijuana becomes legal, Los Angeles County officials are asking for the public’s help to craft a regulatory framework for the emerging trade.
Over the next few weeks, Los Angeles residents who live in the county’s unincorporated areas are invited to a series of listening sessions to give input on regulations for the legalized cannabis industry.
The county’s goal is to create and pass an ordinance well in advance of next year, when recreational marijuana becomes legal to sell. Right now, all cannabis-related businesses and activities across Los Angeles County’s unincorporated areas are banned. But last month, supervisors agreed to rules for personal use, including allowing residents to grow up to six plants, no larger than six feet tall, in or outside their homes.
The unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County encompass more than 2,600 square miles and include communities in Gorman, Topanga, Altadena and West Carson, among others. About 1.5 million residents live in unincorporated Los Angeles County.
Back in February, the Board of Supervisors instructed more than a dozen county offices, including the sheriff’s and fire departments as well as regional planning and public health officials, to nail down every detail on how to regulate the cultivation, transportation, distribution, processing, manufacturing, testing, sale and delivery of medical and recreational cannabis.
An advisory group of community leaders and business owners from across the county already has held one of its eight meetings to help create the regulations for commercial and personal-use cannabis in the unincorporated areas. They plan to discuss “youth access and exposure to cannabis, taxation and revenue, operational standards for cannabis businesses, and the cultivation of cannabis for personal use, among others.”
Proposition 64, also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, sailed to victory when voters approved it in the November election. The act allows adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana or eight grams of concentrated cannabis and grow up to six plants per home. It takes effect on Jan. 1, 2018. The act also prohibits possessing marijuana on school grounds and smoking or consuming marijuana in “public places” or while driving. The passage of Proposition 64 followed an action by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2015, when he enacted the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, regulating California’s medical marijuana industry at the state level. The formal state licensing process for recreational marijuana businesses also is expected to begin on Jan. 1.
The first public listening session will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Topanga Library, 122 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga. For more information, go to Los Angeles County’s Office of Cannabis Management at cannabis.lacounty.gov.
Here is a list of upcoming public sessions:
• Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the La Puente Library, 15920 Central Ave., La Puente
• Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Antelope Valley — Quartz Hill Library, 5040 West Avenue M-2, Quartz Hill
• Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the AC Bilbrew Library. 150 E. El Segundo Blvd., Los Angeles
• July 20, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Chester Washington Golf Course, 1930 West 120th St., Los Angeles
• July 22, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Lennox Library, 4359 Lennox Blvd., Lennox
• July 22, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at King Gillette Ranch, 26800 W. Mulholland Hwy., Calabasas
• July 25, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Liberty Community Plaza, 14181 Telegraph Rd., Whittier
• July 26, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Hacienda Heights Community Center 1234 Valencia Ave., Hacienda Heights
• July 29, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the East Los Angeles Service Center, 133 N. Sunol Drive, Los Angeles
• July 29, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Roosevelt Park, 7600 Graham Ave., Los Angeles
Find the full list, including meetings in August, here.