After months of debates and deliberation, Los Angeles is now set to become the biggest US city to legalize recreational pot.
Just recently, the City Council of Los Angeles gave approval to a set of rules that will govern the cultivation and sales of recreational marijuana which will take effect less than a month from now.
Under these new rules, pot businesses cannot set up shop near residential areas. There’s also a buffer zone near frequented public places such as schools, parks, and libraries. The set also contains guidelines on how businesses will be licensed.
But with only a few days to the deadline, experts anticipate that only a few businesses will be able to prepare and start sales on January 1.
A necessary move
The City Council’s move is said to be necessary if they are to fight against the thriving pot black market in the city. This is supported by the executive director of the Southern California Coalition Adam Spiker who said that the state is “just giving oxygen to the black market” if the demand is not met legally.
The cannabis industry in California is a projected $7 billion market and is one of the biggest in the country. Along with the rise of legal pot businesses in the state are also the proliferation of illegal cultivators and dispensaries. These are the players that the state is trying to avoid by setting laws that will satisfy the demand of the patients and the public while also giving the state income.
California is among the first few states in the country where marijuana is legal for medical and recreational purposes.