LA City to Begin Drafting Ordinance to Charge Unlicensed Cannabis Property Owners for Cutting Their Power

Los Angeles, CA - Today, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to approve Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez’s motion directing the City Attorney to draft an ordinance enabling City agencies to recover all costs associated with utility disconnection or other enforcement actions taken to shut down illegal cannabis businesses.

May 8, 2019

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Tran Le, tran.le@lacity.org

213-257-0475

COUNCILWOMAN MONICA RODRIGUEZ’S LEGISLATION FOR FULL COST RECOVERY OF ILLEGAL CANNABIS ENFORCEMENT MOVES FORWARD

City to begin drafting ordinance to charge unlicensed cannabis property owners for cutting their power

Los Angeles, CA - Today, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to approve Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez’s motion directing the City Attorney to draft an ordinance enabling City agencies to recover all costs associated with utility disconnection or other enforcement actions taken to shut down illegal cannabis businesses.

“This is a very important and no nonsense enforcement tool that will be crucial in tackling the spread of illegal cannabis operators in our communities,” said Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, Chair of the City’s Public Safety Committee. “Property owners responsible for harboring illegal cannabis businesses must be held accountable for their role in undermining our legal system. They should be held responsible for the full costs of public safety enforcement efforts.”

The City currently assesses property owners and businesses for the costs of other specialized public safety enforcement efforts, such as brush fire hazard abatement. Illegal cannabis businesses pose similar threats to public safety and a similar policy and procedure should be established. When illegal cannabis businesses are closed, they often reopen in the same location with different operators, often by affiliates of the same business, and different storefront names. The full costs of enforcement include materials used to secure facilities, staff hours generated by those engaged in enforcement, and other operational costs.

"The unlicensed Cannabis market drains revenue and resources from the City of Los Angeles and the Department of Cannabis (DCR) strongly supports this motion and the leadership of Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez,” said Cat Packer, Executive Director of DCR. “We will continue to partner with City agencies in enforcement efforts against the illegal cannabis establishments.  We encourage the public to lodge complaints about any unlawful cannabis activity using the DCR’s complaint portal at cannabis.lacity.org.  Together with the community we can encourage consumer safety in the City of Los Angeles."

Today’s Council action directs the City Attorney with the assistance of the Los Angeles Police Department, the Department of Building and Safety, and the Department of Water and Power to establish a policy that seeks full cost recovery from those that lease their property to illegal cannabis businesses. The draft ordinance will return to City Council for review in the coming months.

To read the Councilwoman’s motion, click here.

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Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez serves as the City’s Chair of Public Safety and represents the 7th Council District in the Northeast San Fernando Valley which include the neighborhoods of Sylmar, Mission Hills, Pacoima, Lake View Terrace, Sunland, Tujunga, North Hills, Shadow Hills, and La Tuna Canyon.