The legal marijuana industry in Los Angeles wants the administration to acquire a tougher outlook on illegal pot shops in the city. Representatives called on the Los Angeles City Hall on Monday to demand the closure of illegitimate businesses.
Illegal pot shops are popular in LA
In Los Angeles, it is difficult to distinguish between a legal and illegal pot shop. The only way to distinguish is the price at which the shop sells cannabis since illegal shops don’t have to pay local and state taxes. To fight this problem, the Southern California Coalition, an industry group, wrote a letter to the city on Monday, asking the city to seize inventory and cash from illegal shops.
The action is being demanded against shops that are selling tainted products to the customers. The legal businesses in the region have to get their products- including marijuana, concentrates, and cookies, tested by independent labs to ensure consumer safety. However, the shady shops simply ignore these requirements and sell whatever they please.
The group complained that when the government conducts raids, it doesn’t seize cash and pot products because of which these shops can reopen very quickly. The group asked the authorities to continue testing products they find in these unauthorized shops for the sake of consumer safety.
The cannabis industry in California
Several communities in California ban sale and growing of marijuana because of which user access to legal shops is relatively limited. The tax rate leaves less space for legal business to operate since it can reach 50% in some communities. Consumers, thus, move away to cheaper and tax-free options. A promised tax windfall didn’t do much good, and home deliveries have become a topic of contention in the area as well.
Legal marijuana problems exist in other states, as well. In Nevada, some businesses alleged that the state system is awarding licenses in an unfair manner. They are now fighting a court battle to make the system fair. In Oregon, the marijuana supply exceeded demand last year, making the authorities suspend the new licensing activities.
According to the Southern California Coalition, legal shops are being driven to bankruptcy as they cannot compete with shady businesses that without licenses and tax burdens. Regulatory fees and taxes are a major cause of concern for legal businesses. Now, they want rogue shops to be given tax liens, and their employee’s are given tickets. They also want building inspectors to accompany policemen in raids to help close down unsafe structures.