Those wanting to open a recreational marijuana shop in Los Angeles county aren’t waiting around in limbo anymore. Measure M has passed, allowing people to apply for licenses to open a retail shop.
The fight continues though, according to NBC Los Angeles. The county still has a very big say and can still overturn Measure M. The measure gives the county the power to set a tax rate, approve permits, and change other major regulations. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is meeting next week to discuss the issue. They still have to make decisions regarding a licensing process, where shops can open, how they can advertise and what the penalties will be for regulatory infractions.
Virgil Grant, President of the Southern California Coalition, said, “This is huge for the country. Everybody is sitting back, looking at what move the number one cannabis producing state and city is going to do. And we’re gonna deliver.”
Co-founder of Angeles Emeralds, Jonatan Cvetko, said, “Our biggest thing right now is showing them that it’s a bad policy to go closing the dispensaries. To do that several months prior to having the regulations rolling out doesn’t make any sense.”
This big stride forward comes as Sonoma County approves a plan for marijuana business taxes. In Sonoma County, those cultivating outdoors will pay up to $10 per square foot and indoor cultivators will pay up to $38 per square foot. Mixed operations will pay up to $22 per square foot. This represents about 5-percent of their expected gross revenue. Some argue that these fees are too high and some business owners are considering opening up shop outside of Sonoma County.
California recreational marijuana sales will begin on January 1, 2018.