As January 1, 2018 approaches the Los Angeles Cannabis Industry is scrambling to have their voices heard. With the recent DEA raid in Santa Rosa just days behind the community, all sides of this fight converge on City Hall. Today June 17, 2016 the LA City Council heard public comments on medical marijuana.
The room was there to discuss Proposition D-compliant dispensaries and how to conform to the newly created medical marijuana state licensing system, increase penalties and enforcement to close down all illegal marijuana-related businesses, create a regulatory framework for the City to implement the Adult Use of Marijuana Act if approved in November, and extend Proposition D’s gross receipts tax to all marijuana- related businesses. What occurred during the public comment section was an outpouring of individuals wishing to share their story and keep the conversation going.
With only one minute allocated to all public comment speakers in a 20 minute block Los Angeles cannabis attorney and chair of the Los Angeles Medical Cannabis Task force Ariel Clark was first up to to speak. Conveying the message of the need for an inclusive, public policy-oriented solution that puts Los Angeles medical cannabis legislation and regulation in compliance with state law. Attorney Stuart Richlin an expert witness on cannabis who has represented hundreds of cannabis businesses went a step further calling out the relationship between the Prop D dispensaries and city hall.
Throughout the years Americans for Safe Access has worked closely with Los Angeles’s Prop D collectives to create the current framework we have which makes for no surprise as they voiced their support of moving forward with regulating the Prop D collectives. The most moving story from all sides was that of Brett Harman, manager of Buds and Roses a Prop D collective, who shared that after donating a kidney he developed epilepsy. Cannabis has revolutionized his life and he wishes to see a regulated market whose standards match that of the Veterinary industry he left.
All sides echoed wanting to see more diversity and equity built into whatever plans that are adopted. One thing that was missing was patient stories and the impact on them. The council recommended they report back August 19, 2016 8am to continue the topic of regulated cannabis in Los Angeles. We encourage more patients to come out and share their patient story. Our elected officials need to know why delivery services, lab testing, cultivating, distribution, manufacturing and matter to us all not just the few.