The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in their meeting Tuesday will consider a motion urging California to create an emblem program for licensed cannabis stores so consumers will know which stores are legal.
Proposed by Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Janice Hahn, the motion would call for discussions between the county’s Consumer and Business Affairs director and state cannabis authorities about the creation of such an emblem program.
The Supervisors will ask the CBA director for recommendations within 30 days, including a plan to move forward with a county-wide emblem program if the state decides not to create one.
Here’s the text of the motion:
“It is estimated that thousands of unlicensed cannabis stores are currently operating in Los Angeles County. These businesses operate without any public health or safety inspections, and often offer products that are not tracked, inspected or tested for contaminants.
“Additionally, law enforcement and fire prevention officials have noted physical safety concerns at unlicensed cannabis stores, including unsafe wiring and insufficient emergency egress.
“Currently, consumers cannot easily discern whether a cannabis store is licensed. In June of last year, the Board of Supervisors allocated funding to the County’s Office of Cannabis Management, which now reports to the Interim Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, to develop a universal emblem that would allow consumers to easily determine whether a cannabis store is licensed without having to enter the store (Emblem Program).
“Similar to the letter grades for restaurants issued by the County Department of Public Health, the Emblem Program will require stores that have received all necessary State and local approvals to display a placard in a place highly visible from the exterior of the store identifying the business as licensed.
“The Emblem Program will signify that a cannabis store has received appropriate State and local licenses and permits, and empower consumers to avoid shopping at unlicensed stores that pose health, safety, and community hazards. The Emblem Program would allow consumers to make educated decisions, and potentially reduce the profitability of unlicensed and unregulated cannabis stores.
“The proposed Emblem Program would be most effective if it is consistent across
jurisdictions, allowing consumers to rely on one system for determining whether they
are patronizing a licensed establishment.
“To that end, OCM has sought to increase the scope of the Emblem Program regionally. After extensive outreach by OCM, other cities and counties have expressed interest in partnering with the County to implement the Emblem Program.
“No comparable program exists for cannabis retail in California and recently, the
State of California has taken note of the significant benefits that this Emblem Program
can provide consumers, and is interested in potentially instituting the program
“WE THEREFORE MOVE THAT THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:
1. Direct the Interim Director of the Department of Consumer and Business
Affairs to report in writing to the Board of Supervisors within 30 days on the
status of discussions with the State of California regarding potential
implementation of a universal emblem that would allow consumers to easily
determine whether a cannabis store is licensed (Emblem Program) statewide,
and recommendations for moving forward with the Emblem Program and
related education campaign locally if statewide implementation is infeasible or