With retail cannabis sales set to begin in California on January 1, Los Angeles County’s Office of Cannabis Management reminds county residents what is — and is not — permitted in their communities.
Although some local cities — including Los Angeles — have opted to permit commercial cannabis operations, many other areas have not, including the city of Santa Clarita and unincorporated parts of L.A. County.
In addition to meeting all local permitting requirements, cannabis businesses must also obtain licenses from the state of California.
Under the new state laws, sales of adult-use cannabis to people under the age of 21 are never permitted, and cannabis can only be purchased legally from licensed retail outlets.
It will remain illegal to smoke cannabis in public or to drive under the influence. Consumption of cannabis products by a driver or passengers in vehicles is also unlawful.
Earlier this month, the county’s Office of Cannabis Management released a set of proposed cannabis policies for unincorporated areas of the county. The policies seek to “prioritize the protection of public safety and health as well as the quality of life in our communities,” and are tentatively scheduled for consideration by the county Board of Supervisors in January.
Supervisors already have adopted a health and sanitation ordinance for cannabis businesses. The ordinance, approved on Dec. 19, establishes clear health and safety standards for those preparing and selling cannabis products.
The ordinance also requires businesses to abide by operational standards to avoid adversely affecting neighbors. The L.A. County Department of Public Health is working with cities that will permit commercial cannabis operations to implement the new ordinance countywide.
The Office of Cannabis Management is also developing a universal emblem program for cannabis retailers that will include a campaign to educate consumers. Once the program begins in the months ahead, the distinctive emblem, similar to a restaurant grade, will let consumers know at a glance whether a cannabis business is licensed.
For more information, including proposed cannabis regulations for the unincorporated areas, frequently asked questions, resources for parents and teens, and rules for personal cannabis cultivation, please visit http://cannabis.lacounty.gov.
Read more about local, county, state and federal cannabis law changes in SCVNews.com’s “Cannabis Countdown.”