At the beginning of this month, the city of Los Angeles finally decided to start accepting license applications from cannabis growers, manufacturers, and testing labs. Although marijuana was legalized in California on January 1, 2018, the City of Los Angeles has been slow in issuing licenses.
Though about 150 retail shops have been granted approval thus far, Los Angeles has refused to accept licenses for cultivators, processors, or testing facilities. They are lagging behind other major cities such as Oakland and San Diego in order to work through legislative issues.
Because of the delay, many cultivators and retailers have been hit hard. They’ve been paying expensive rent for months without any revenue. Some retailers have resorted to crossing state lines to obtain their product.
The rollout process has been divided into three phases. Phase 1, which was for retail businesses operating in compliance with Proposition M, closed in early March. Proposition M outlines the licensing program and taxation.
We are currently experiencing Phase 2 of the process. Applications being accepted are limited to businesses that were operating prior to January 1, 2016. The applicant must have been a supplier to an existing dispensary prior to 2017. The window for applications will be 30 days.
Finally, Phase 3 will allow for the general public to apply for cannabis business licenses. The Department of Cannabis Regulation has not released the start date.
Although applications are now being accepted, the city of Los Angeles still hasn’t determined when licenses for cannabis growers, manufacturers, and test labs will actually be issued.