Today, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance based on Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez’s motion enabling City agencies to recover costs associated with utility disconnection or other enforcement actions taken to shut down unlicensed cannabis businesses.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 2, 2019
Olivia McGovern, [email protected]
CITY COUNCIL ADOPTS COUNCILWOMAN MONICA RODRIGUEZ’S ORDINANCE FOR FULL COST RECOVERY OF ILLEGAL CANNABIS ENFORCEMENT
City approves ordinance to charge unlicensed cannabis property owners for enforcement costs
Los Angeles, CA - Today, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance based on Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez’s motion enabling City agencies to recover costs associated with utility disconnection or other enforcement actions taken to shut down unlicensed 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 unlicensed 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. Unlicensed cannabis businesses pose similar threats to public safety. 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 Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) applauds the leadership of Councilmember Monica Rodriguez and the City Council for passing this ordinance," said Cat Packer, Executive Director of DCR. “The City is working together with all Departments to support legal and licensed cannabis businesses and establishments. We ask the public to continue to visit legal establishments and to lodge complaints about any unlawful cannabis activity using the DCR's complaint portal at canabis.lacity.org. We want to protect the safety of Angelenos and penalize businesses that drain resources and revenue from the City of Los Angeles."
Today’s ordinance allows the City to pursue full cost recovery from those who lease their property to unlicensed cannabis businesses.
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.