Unlicensed dispensaries are becoming a nuisance in California
Unlicensed marijuana dispensaries are problematic. They are particularly prevalent in Los Angeles, CA, but a crackdown is now underway to eradicate the illegal businesses. Leading the charge is the United Cannabis Business Association (UCBA), a local marijuana trade group.
The UCBA is putting pressure on LA prosecutors to provide better enforcement and weed out the illegal players. It has sent a letter to LA City Attorney Mike Feuer, in which it states that “illegal retail cannabis operations are continuing to flourish and proliferate.” It adds that these operations are causing medical marijuana dispensaries to struggle financially as they try to compete with the illegal dispensaries.
Controlling illegal dispensaries is not an easy task and LA is trying to make an impact. In September, it charged over 500 people for their connections with 105 illicit dispensaries in the city.
Not all of the operators are willingly conducting business illegally. The local marijuana laws are constantly changing, which makes it difficult for them to keep up and could force a once-legal operation to be conducting business outside recent law changes. However, keeping up with the laws is, and always will be the responsibility of the business owners.
The National Cannabis Industry Association asserts that the attorney’s office should The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) said it agrees that the city attorney’s office should “enforce the law and the new regulatory structure,” but cautions that the enforcement “should be transparent, and should focus initially on the traditional criminal element more than on currently unlicensed businesses that have been operating for years without incident in compliance with the old system.”