Permitting LA’s Cannabis Dispensaries Moving at a Crawl … Responsible Departments Out of Sync

THE CITY HALL STALL-As of this writing, the City of Los Angeles still has only issued 147 permits for pre-prop D marijuana dispensaries. This number has not changed in over a week.


What are they smoking? 

When the State says they are only realizing less than 50% of projected income, it is no wonder. Cities that do not get their permits issued are affecting not only their own budgets, but the budget of the entire state. 

Today, a manufacturer called me asking for help. She said the State approved her, but then called back and revoked the approval based on the fact that the city has not issued a permit to her. 

In fact, as of this writing, there is not even an application available for those wishing to apply who are not pre-prop D. 

Yet, there are over 60 pre-prop D permits in dispute that nobody downtown can figure out how to handle. 

Answer: The person filing the AFFIDAVITS ANNUALLY GET THE PERMITS. Then, let the partners fight it out in court as a civil matter, like any other. This will make it possible to get on with the permitting process for all the other applicants. 

In addition, the city ordinance states that any pre-prop D applicant remains compliant until either the new permit is issued, or they are denied and have gone through the appeal process. 

However, the state will not allow vendors to ship to the dispensaries that are waiting for their city permits, stating that they do not have a state permit. 

So, these dispensaries are in jeopardy of not having product…or needing to go back to the black market for that product. 

This process has been grossly mismanaged. The department is understaffed and under administered. It is time for the City Council to step in and fix this blemish on the second largest city in America.


(Jay Handal is Co-Chair of the NC Budget Advocates, treasurer of the West Los Angeles NC and Los Angeles Police Commission Hearing Examiner. He is also a consultant to the cannabis industry. Mr. Handal’s views are his own.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.