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LA City Council Floats Idea of Charging Illegal Pot Shop Owners for Cost of Killing Their Power

WHAT TO KNOW

  • The city currently assesses property owners and businesses for the costs of other specialized public safety enforcement efforts.

  • The City Attorney’s Office said that it has filed 216 criminal cases against 861 defendants associated with 182 locations

  • Since 2018 all businesses conducting commercial cannabis activity in Los Angeles are required to be licensed by both the state and city.

The city of Los Angeles would start charging business and property owners of illegal pot shops for the costs associated with shutting off their utilities under a motion set for discussion by a City Council committee Tuesday.

With hundreds of illegal marijuana shops continuing to operate in the city, the council in March unanimously approved an ordinance aimed at cracking down on the businesses by shutting off their utilities. The Los Angeles Police Department, Department of Water and Power and other departments recently began acting on the policy, and as of last week, the LAPD said at least 22 businesses had already been cut off.

Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez on Friday introduced a motion stating that the cost of such enforcement actions includes “materials used to secure facilities, staff hours generated by those engaged in enforcement and other costs. The city must establish a policy that seeks full cost recovery from those that lease their property to illegal cannabis businesses.”

The motion is scheduled to be discussed by the Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Committee Tuesday.

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The city already assesses property owners and businesses for the costs of other specialized public safety enforcement efforts, such as brush fire hazard abatement. Rodriguez’s motions states that illegal cannabis businesses “pose similar threats to public safety and similar policy and procedure should be established.”

To Read The Rest Of This Article By City News Service on NBC 4 Los Angeles

Published: April 15, 2019

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