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Trade organization backs city’s pot ballot measure

LOS ANGELES — A cannabis industry trade organization has hailed as “comprehensive and inclusive” a proposition on the Los Angeles March 7 election ballot that would restore the city’s ability to develop regulations for marijuana businesses.

Proposition M, which was placed on the ballot by the City Council, would allow the city to repeal a current ban on medical marijuana dispensaries under the previously approved Proposition D and replace it with a new set of rules for different types of marijuana businesses.

“We have been advocating for sensible marijuana policies for decades now,” said Virgil Grant, president and co-founder of the Southern California Coalition, which worked with the city to develop the measure.

“Prop. M is one of the most comprehensive and inclusive measures we have seen to date. It is proof that there’s power in our numbers. Our voices are stronger together, than apart. We are grateful that Angelenos still have one last chance to implement responsible marijuana laws. Based on the initial response that we are seeing — we are setting high hopes for Prop. M’s passing this spring.”

In November, California voters approved Proposition 64, which immediately made cannabis possession legal for adults 21 and over and legalized the sale of recreational marijuana as of Jan. 1, 2018.

Proposition M essentially prepares the city to regulate the coming legalized marijuana industry. A motion recently passed by the City Council estimates that legalized pot shops could generate up to $100 million in taxes for the city’s general fund within the first few years.

If approved, Proposition M would give the city tools to enforce its regulations. Businesses operating without a license or ignoring city rules could face civil fines, criminal penalties and the threat of their power and water service being shut off.

Proposition M also would allow for gross receipts taxes to be imposed on marijuana business activity, including the sale of general-use and medical cannabis, delivery services and manufacturing.

There will also be another marijuana initiative on the March ballot called Proposition N, which calls for giving permitting priority to 135 businesses that have been allowed to operate under the Proposition D ban, and includes taxation and permitting provisions.

The city-backed measure also contains a provision to prioritize the Proposition D-immune medical marijuana dispensaries, and a group behind Measure N, the UCBA Trade Association, has since backed Measure M.

 

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