Voters in Los Angeles overwhelmingly approved a measure allowing the city to regulate medical and recreational cannabis dispensaries.
Measure M allows the city to repeal a current ban on medical cannabis dispensaries under the previously approved Proposition D, and replace it with a new set of rules for different types of cannabis businesses. It was placed on the ballot as a response to the passage of Proposition 64, California’s recreational cannabis initiative, last November.
“Los Angeles is leading the country and world in responsible and inclusive approaches to legalization,” said Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson. “The passing of Proposition M is a great victory for common sense, law enforcement and all Angelenos. We gave communities a voice in the process, and their voices will be continued to be heard. This measure is what responsible marijuana laws should look like, and we couldn’t be prouder of our city.”
Measure M will give Los Angeles the necessary tools to enforce cannabis regulations such as assessing fines, criminal penalties and turning off utilities like power and water for businesses operating without a license or otherwise disobeying city rules. It will also allow for taxes to be imposed on cannabis businesses; including recreational and medical dispensaries, delivery services, manufacturing and cultivation.
Virgil Grant, the co-founder and president of the Southern California Coalition—a cannabis trade group—plans to take Measure M to the county and state levels, “so that this comprehensive approach can serve as a model for cities, states and the entire country.”
“This measure is evidence that when we listen and work together, we can solve issues, find common ground and benefit our communities and citizens in the process,” Grant said.
Also on the ballot in Los Angeles was Measure N, which was initially supported by a group of cannabis dispensaries who abandoned the cause in favor of lending their full support to Measure M. Measure N would have opened the door for taxation, licensing, regulation and expansion. However N would have favored the 135 limited legal immunity dispensaries going forward. Measure N was soundly defeated.