The police in Los Angeles are ramping up enforcement efforts on unlicensed dispensaries throughout the area, as evidenced by a recent round-up resulting in more than 500 misdemeanor arrests stemming from over 100 illegal pot shops.
According to Nury Martines, Los Angeles City Councilwoman, “today, we are letting our residents and those who want to flout our laws know that the city is not going to stand idly by, while the safety of our communities are at risk.”
In July, California moved to end the six-month grace period that had allowed cannabis businesses to operate under the state's prior mmj program, now requiring retailers to undergo a rigorous licensing process, and may only purchase products that have undergone mandatory safety testing, as part of a 6 month testing phase-in. California authorities say that they will pursue criminal charges against illegal dispensaries, who are likely not adhering to the testing protocol, so as to protect customers and the future of the state’s growing legal market.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer recently told the Los Angeles Times “If [licensed operators] are going to go through this process, it just cannot be the case that others that flout the rules are allowed to function. It’s bad for those who buy from them, it’s bad for the communities in which they’re located and, again, it threatens to undermine the viability of a system that’s predicated on lawful licensing.”