The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has voted to support a proposal by Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn to reconsider the current ban on commercial cannabis production and distribution in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.
“It has been three long years since we decided to keep the cannabis ban in place in the unincorporated area and a lot has changed,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn, who authored the motion today. “We’ve seen how legalization has played out in cities in our own county and we have seen states across the country move in the direction of legalizing, taxing, and regulating cannabis. It may be time for us to join them.”
“With more local jurisdictions moving towards the legalization of recreational and commercial cannabis, LA County can use this moment to evaluate best practices and develop a framework for cannabis regulation and enforcement in unincorporated areas of the County,” shared Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair, Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District, who coauthored today’s motion. “The County can leverage pre-existing recommendations like the report provided by the Office of Cannabis Management in 2017 and look to other regions that have instituted cannabis regulations to drive an equitable plan that will provide a framework for the distribution, retail, manufacturing, enforcement, and regulation of cannabis.”
Shortly after the passage of Proposition 64, the “Adult Use of Marijuana Act,” the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors enacted a ban on the commercial production and distribution of cannabis in unincorporated areas of the county. The ban was intended to be temporary until the County could develop and establish proper regulations. The Board established the Office of Cannabis Management which convened a Working Group on Cannabis Regulation to develop recommendations for the Board to consider. After conducting extensive community outreach and eight public convenings, the Working Group presented a report to the Board of Supervisors with 64 recommendations.
However, in June 2018, the Board of Supervisors chose to accept the report but not take any action to remove the cannabis ban. At the time, Supervisor Hahn said the intention was not to rush the issue and felt there were too many unanswered questions and uncertainties.
In the three years since then, much has changed and evolved in the area of cannabis legalization. Multiple additional states have legalized recreational cannabis and the county’s two largest cities, Los Angeles and Long Beach, are now allowing commercial cannabis.
The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to support a motion authored by Supervisor Hahn and coauthored by Supervisor Hilda Solis that directs the Office of Cannabis Management and other relevant county departments to revisit the regulation recommendations report and report back to the board with updated recommendations for cannabis retail, manufacturing, distribution, growth, testing, regulation, and enforcement in Los Angeles County in 120 days.
Submitted by Liz Odendahl, Supervisor’s Communications Director