LOS ANGELES (AP) – The legal marijuana industry urged the Los Angeles City Hall Monday to be tougher with illegal stores, which deepen their openness business.
Illegal pot shops are widespread throughout Los Angeles and usually look like the real thing. And they are thriving – they sell cheaper products than their legal rivals because they don't charge for big state and local taxes.
In a letter Monday, the industry group Southern California Coalition recommended the city to look at cannabis intake and cash from illegal stores found to sell related products.
In the legal market, marijuana, concentrates, cookies and other products must be tested by independent consumer safety laboratories ̵[ads1]1; a requirement that illegal stores can ignore.
The group said the failure to seize money and potty products from illegal shops after raids allows the business to resume quickly.
Without testing supervision in place in the illegal market "there is a high probability that cannabis products in these stores are contaminated," the group wrote.
They urged the city "in the strongest possible way to continue testing cannabis … in unlicensed stores."
California's power to transform its long-standing illegal and medical marijuana markets into a unified, multibillion dollar industry kicked off last year. But the transition has been uneven and it is likely that it takes many years for the legal market to find itself.
Many communities prohibit marijuana sales and growing so that citizens are excluded from legal stores. Businesses complain of heavy tax rates that can approach 50 percent in some communities, as they say drive consumers into the tax-free illegal market. It is on ongoing struggle over home delivery, and a promised tax fall has never come.
There have been problems in other states with legal marijuana. In Nevada, there is a court battle underway after some companies have charged that the licensing state system is unfair. In Oregon last year, a supply of marijuana in the supply chain required regulators to suspend the processing of new marijuana business license applications.
In the industrial group, the industrial group said that many law stores are being run into bankruptcy because they are surrounded by
Because of taxes and heavy regulatory fees, legal operators "cannot compete with illegal operators," the group said.
The group also recommended ticketing staff at rogue stores to discourage them from returning and having Building inspectors always follow the police with raids to close insecure structures. They also suggested that the city consider placing tax cuts on illegal stores.