420 FILE--The Los Angeles City Council approved regulations for the recreational marijuana industry on Wednesday, setting the stage for LA to become the largest city in the U.S. with legal cannabis when California’s adult-use marijuana laws go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

MARIJUANA JUSTICE--Eddy, a burly 65-year-old professional musician, walked into a free legal clinic in Los Angeles County one July morning hoping to clear his record. More than three decades ago, he served two years probation for attempting to sell a few gram bags of marijuana, a felony that put the immigrant, a legal United States resident with a green card, at greater risk of deportation.

THIS IS WHAT I KNOW--Driving through West Hollywood, it’s hard not to notice the billboard for Zen Dispensary with its trendy Buddha icon. Medical marijuana dispensaries are no longer solely the provenance of dicey strip malls. And last November California voters supported Prop 64 which legalized recreational marijuana and establishes certain sales and cultivation taxes, passed by 56 percent. The sale and taxation of legalized marijuana will go into effect on January 1, 2018. 

POT BUSINESS--The state’s working group on marijuana and banking has finally issued its report on the litany of banking challenges facing California’s legal marijuana industry. And while it does recommend a number of measures to alleviate the industry’s difficulties, it ultimately concludes that real improvement will require some change at the federal level. 

UPDATE April 2017 - California's Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation has released a notice of rule making with hearing dates starting June 1 and draft regulations for retailers, distributors, and labs. The California Department of Food and Agriculture has proposed regulations for cultivation, nurseries, and processing. The Department of Public Health has proposed rules for manufacturing, including extraction, processing and infusion.

RANTZ AND RAVEZ-When Mayor Eric Garcetti ran for election, he promised he would bring the city around in a positive manner and ultimately focus on a Back to Basics agenda. Most people in Los Angeles truly believed that the city had moved far away from the basics and the idea of a safe and clean city resonated with voters throughout LA. It carried Mayor Garcetti to victory. 

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