The president of the city council wants to slow down while new evaluations are made
Herb Wesson, the president of the LA City Council, wants the city to place a moratorium on new cannabis dispensary licenses. He says the licensing process has been “compromised” and wants a review of the system, arguing that some people have been able to gain early access and an unfair advantage. Not only does he want to call off new licenses being issued, but he wants all current applications being reviewed to be returned and refunds issued to the entities.
Wesson wants the city’s Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) to halt its activity and bring in an independent auditor to review the application process, unless all applications can be processed fairly. Currently, only certain applications are reviewed – not all those that are received by the DCR.
He adds, “These are the only options that will provide the clarity and time we need to ensure that the … process is fair, transparent, and has integrity,” pointing out that some people were able to access the system before it was officially launched, allegations that he says have been confirmed.
CA launched its latest application approval process in September and LA received 300 within three minutes, something that could only be possible if certain applicants had everything they needed ahead of time. The executive director of the DCR, Cat Packer, has acknowledged that some had been given early access, but asserts that this was limited to just two entities.
Virgil Grant, the co-founder of minority advocate group California Minority Alliance, welcomes the efforts by Wesson. He says that he is “ecstatic” that the City Council president is being proactive and adds, “It has to be done. They have to stop everything, refund everybody the money and get this done right.”