As of January 1, 2018, Los Angeles became the largest—albeit the most dysfunctional—legal cannabis marketplace in the world. There’s 18.8 million people in the greater Los Angeles area, plus Hollywood, and the music industry, all powering a cannabis culture that influences the globe. But owing to local government stasis, there’s just 135 legal stores.
Stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the San Gabriel Mountains, with the Santa Monica Mountains snaking through the city, Los Angeles is gloriously diverse in geography, architecture, food, art, and culture. It’s too diverse to tackle in one go, or even multiple visits.
The Southern California climate is delightful—most days are sunny and warm, with gentle ocean breezes in the summer. This is the city that gave rise to the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations.” And you’ll find some of the best cannabis in the world here.
Step aside, Frommer’s Guide—Leafly has all the info you need to get oriented. Let’s dive into the sprawling, eclectic center of the City of Angels: Downtown Los Angeles, or DTLA.
Leafly’s Map of Downtown Los Angeles Marijuana Stores
Los Angeles Marijuana Laws
- Cannabis is legal in California for adults ages 21 and up. Bring a valid, unexpired form of ID to get into retail stores
- It’s legal to carry up to one ounce of cannabis flower and eight grams of extract
- You can also grow six cannabis plants
- You can transport cannabis as long as it is unopened. If you’re driving, lock it in the trunk of your car
- No open containers, or half-smoked joints
- No driving or boating high
- Smoking in public can result in a ticket. Smoking in hotels can result in “room cleaning fees” much higher than a ticket from the police
Top DTLA Cannabis Shops
It feels like there are 200 different L.A.s inside the sprawling desert basin, and like every other neighborhood there, downtown L.A. is its own little world, trapped by the surrounding nightmarish traffic.
With a world-recognized skyline, downtown Los Angeles is a freeway-tangled assortment of areas, ranging from its vibrant fashion district to the infamous skid row. After decades of economic decline, downtown has sprung back to life, with an influx of new condos, businesses, museums, restaurants, and hotels. And, of course, legal cannabis shops!
Is This Weed Shop Legal?
With just 135 stores for a city of four million, Los Angeles has a shocking lack of legal cannabis access. So it’s no surprise the region is rife with unlicensed shops nearly indistinguishable from licensed stores. Unlicensed stores sell untested products that are often contaminated with pesticides, mold, mildew, parasites. Edibles will have incorrect dosages.
One way to know before you go: Leafly only lists licensed stores in Los Angeles. Outside a dispensary, you can always ask the guard if the store is licensed, look for the store’s license number, and other signs of legitimacy.
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News