CA: Los Angeles Has Issued Over 100 Pot Licenses, And Revenues Are Beating Expectations

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Photo Credit: Nanette Gonzalez

The city of Los Angeles has issued a total of 101 temporary authorizations to marijuana businesses since the drug became legal for recreational sales in the beginning of January, a Los Angeles City Council committee was told Friday.

Cat Packer, head of the city’s Department of Cannabis Regulation, also told the Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Committee that her office has so far taken in far more revenue than was anticipated.

“Originally the department was given a budget of $1.3 million, and to date we have collected over $2.2 million in licensing fees, and we have around about $800,000 in outstanding invoices, so it is likely that our revenue projections through June will be $3.5 million,” Packer said.

California voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana in 2016, with licensed sales beginning Jan. 1 of this year. In March 2017, Los Angeles voters approved Measure M to set up regulatory measures for the cannabis industry, which could generate more than $100 million annually in revenue through licensing fees, sales taxes and other sources for a city with a budget that topped $9 billion last fiscal year.

The committee’s meeting focused on several outstanding issues that were not completed when the City Council approved new ordinances in late 2017 to regulate recreational marijuana, including potential restrictions on advertising.

A proposed ordinance, forwarded by the committee to the full council for consideration, would prohibit marijuana advertising within 800 feet of sensitive locations such as schools, limit a cannabis business to one on-site sign that has a maximum size of 75 square feet, and prohibit portable signs or sandwich signs located in the public right-of-way.

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