Cannabis Cultivation Licensing Begins in Los Angeles

Cultivated cannabis plants thriving.

Cat Packer of the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation announced on July 2 that the city will finally begin to proceed with cannabis cultivation.

Since the legalization of cannabis in California, Los Angeles County officials have been moving slower than other major cities in the state, as they are taking certain precautions with handling cannabis cultivation licensing. As a result, cannabis cultivation owners are frustrated that their business must be placed on hold.

According to Commission President Robert Ahn, the status of LA’s industry will remain slow, but steady. He encourages all businesses owners to remain patience during this time. “We have tremendous challenges,” Ahn said. “It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to take time.” With only 155 licensed retailers currently open in the city, cannabis cultivators seeking licenses will go through multiple levels of reviews where applicants must meet a range of requirements and must pass inspection. Until then the supply chain will be on a temporary hold.

Many business owners are disappointed that it’s taken even this long to get the ball rolling, especially since LA is poised to be one of the largest cannabis markets in the country. One Los Angeles-based cultivator and dispensary owner, Donnie Anderson, says his pockets are being strained as he’s been paying rent for a commercial space that he can’t use without a license. “We don’t want to wait too much longer,” Anderson told the city’s Cannabis Regulation Commission.

But city officials aren’t wasting any more time in launching the licensing process. Packer also announced that August 1 marks the date when the process will fully begin. Even with a solid start date however, Packer and her team are not yet prepared to provide an a date regarding when licenses will begin to be distributed. “There are many steps that have not even been solidified,” Packer stated. “I cannot commit to a timeline at this point.”

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