The State of California recently voted to legalize the use of recreational marijuana, and has been a legal medical marijuana state since the late 1990’s. However, California is not some legal marijuana haven where anything goes, the state and its major cities are still imposing strict regulations on where and how marijuana businesses can operate.
New Regulatory Restrictions For Marijuana
The City of Los Angeles recently unveiled drafted regulations stating that dispensaries are limited to opening in commercial and industrial zones. The proposed laws would also force dispensaries to open at least 800 feet apart from one another, and 800 feet away from schools, public libraries, parks and drug and alcohol treatment facilities. Indoor growing facilities will also be largely limited to industrial zones.
Public Review Period
Before the Los Angeles City Council conducts a vote on the possible new laws, the draft will be available for sixty days for public access and discussion. Regarding the review period, City Council President Herb Wesson stated, “We will continue to have a robust dialogue about the regulatory framework and a healthy debate of Los Angeles’ growing cannabis industry.”
Concerns Over The Proposed Regulations
There are multiple stated concerns over the proposed regulations, including the worry that businesses will face long wait times before they can begin to operate. Some are concerned that the increase in regulations will cause an increase bureaucratic hoops that legal marijuana business will have to jump through before they can open legally.
Why Is This A Good Thing?
Despite the valid concerns over how the new laws will be implemented, this is a step in the right direction. Before the marijuana industry can gain acceptance and full mainstream status, it will need to undergo a thorough oversight procedure similar to those that are levied on alcohol and tobacco sales.
It remains to be seen how the roll out of the first legal recreational marijuana shops in California will occur, but it is expected to take over a year of regulatory review and start up time until this occurs. Until then, California residents should continue to voice their opinions on how they they best believe marijuana business openings should be handled.
Lane is based in Southern California and is a content curator for Medical Marijuana 411. He focuses his research into finding informative stories that can help medical marijuana patients better understand their diverse medicine.