By Michael R. Blood | Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — There will be no legal pot party in Los Angeles on Jan. 1.
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California kicks off recreational sales on New Year’s Day, becoming the largest state in the nation with legal marijuana. But Los Angeles officials announced Friday that dispensaries in the city won’t be part of the celebration.
The city won’t begin accepting applications to sell legal recreational pot until Jan. 3, and it could take weeks before those businesses are properly licensed with the city and state and open their doors.
“Come Jan. 1 in the city of Los Angeles, there are no legal, adult-use sales,” Cat Packer, who heads the city’s Department of Cannabis Regulation, told reporters at City Hall.
“We are starting a process. This is something that is not going to happen overnight,” Packer said.
Los Angeles is California’s largest pot market and the opening of legal sales was widely anticipated. In March, 80 percent of city voters endorsed a ballot measure that set in motion creation of the new pot marketplace.
The decision to delay licensing, even for several weeks, was a disappointment for growers and sellers who have feared they could be squeezed out of the market if LA lagged in licensing.
“It’s a scary time for the operators,” said Adam Spiker, executive director of the Southern California Coalition, a marijuana industry group.
“It’s not just the retailers. There is still complete uncertainty to other aspects of the industry,” such as cultivation and transportation, he added. “At the end of the day, the city is not ready.”
Los Angeles struggled for months to get rules in place to license businesses for legal sales, only agreeing to guidelines earlier …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Business