Business Legalization News

Los Angeles reaches marijuana licensing deal for current applicants

(This story has been updated to include the city’s announcement of its agreement with state regulators as well as quotes from a spokesman for the state Bureau of Cannabis Control.)

Los Angeles officials have reached an agreement with California regulators that’s designed to free up a licensing logjam that has prevented the city’s marijuana companies from opening their doors because they don’t yet have local business permits.

The agreement, which the city announced on the Department of Cannabis Regulation’s website, could allow hundreds of L.A. cannabis businesses that have been waiting months for local permits to begin operating before year’s end.

The Southern California Coalition (SCC) – which represents a wide swath of L.A. cannabis businesses hoping to obtain city permits – wrote in a draft blog post before the city’s announcement that the Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) has “completed negotiations with state agencies, clearing a path for Phase 2 applicants to receive local, temporary authorization.”

Positive developmentUnder the agreement, up to 594 businesses that submitted applications in August and September will be allowed to obtain the permission they need to begin full legal cannabis operations within L.A.’s boundaries before the end of the year.

That’s good news for L.A. cannabis growers, edibles makers, distributors, testing labs and other nonretail businesses that have been waiting months for city permits.

Up to now, the city had licensed 169 retail locations but no other types of cannabis companies.

L.A.’s Phase 2 round of licensing opened in August and closed Sept. 13, but so far none of those licenses has been issued, and the city was running up against an end-of-year deadline for temporary state licenses.

According to the SCC blog post, the city “obtained approval for a letter of authorization to be issued to Phase 2 applicants immediately. The letter is being written now.”

“The fact that this is an authorization, rather than a (city) license, should not be cause for concern,” the SCC continued, noting that only some type of local authorization is required to obtain a state MJ business permit.

“Applicants will still receive a local license when they have completed the City’s licensing process.”

A DCR spokesperson declined comment, but the agency website was updated Thursday afternoon with an announcement that a new process is in place to allow Phase 2 applicants to apply for temporary state permits “before DCR issues Temporary Approval.”

“‘Phase 2 Priority Processing’ applicants who have paid their application fees will have the opportunity to apply for a state temporary license before the end of the year,” according to the DCR’s new post. It also notes that applicants will receive a “Local Authorization Letter.”

The letter “will allow an applicant to engage in commercial cannabis activities only after satisfying all conditions imposed by DCR.”

To Read The Rest Of This Article By John Schroyer on Marijuana Business Daily

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Published: November 08, 2018

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