Competition with the illicit market remains one of the largest obstacles for California’s cannabis businesses, prompting the Los Angeles City Council to take action to protect consumers from untested and unregulated products at unlicensed retailers.
City Council members approved the "Emblem Program for Authorized Cannabis Stores" June 7 to allow licensed retailers to apply for an emblem that can be displayed on their storefronts to help differentiate legal and illegal dispensaries, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
Licensed cannabis dispensaries and delivery services are eligible to apply for the emblem, and after a requisite inspection, the businesses can place the emblem on their premises so it is visible from outside the building, the news outlet reported.
“The item we have before us today is an important step towards making it easier to differentiate between legal and illegal dispensaries, but there’s a lot more to it than that because the conversation is often couched in terms of dispensaries simply operating as unpermitted or illegal without considerations of the larger issues, which are health and safety impacts that come from these illegal operations,” Councilman Paul Koretz, who co-introduced the motion with Councilman Curren Price, said during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
Now that City Council has approved the motion, the Los Angeles City Attorney's office must draft an ordinance to implement the emblem program, which will launch later this year upon final adoption of the ordinance, the news outlet reported.
“[The Department of Cannabis Regulation] (DCR) looks forward to facilitating, educating and verifying that our licensed operators also meet all public health standards which will allow the public to make informed and healthy consumer decisions,” DCR’s acting executive director, Michelle Garakian, told the Los Angeles Daily News. “We welcome our partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health; our collective aim is to partner to protect the health of consumers, employees and the community."