Los Angeles is a strange city. Under law, medical marijuana dispensaries have to forward a 5 percent sales tax to City Hall.

But the city council just voted to stop issuing new tax certificates to collectives.

That’s because tax officials couldn’t figure out which dispensaries were legal and which weren’t. And too many collectives were using their city paperwork to claim legitimacy.

Only about 135 dispensaries in Los Angeles are legal under Prop. D, passed by voters in 2013. But it seems that officials don’t know which ones are part of that 135. There have been estimates of more than 1,000 dispensaries in town.

So the council voted to eliminate the issuance of new certificates.

Like we said, strange city.

Councilman Joe Buscaino says City Hall knows which collectives are part of that 135 because they had to register a long time ago.

Long-running, legitimate dispensaries can apparently renew their registrations, but only if operators sign an affidavit attesting that they are compliant with the city’s collectives (Prop. D) law.

The council voted to make it a misdemeanor to lie on these forms. The mayor still has to sign the ordinance to make it law.

About The Author

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Raul Duke has been working as a journalist in Southern California for two decades. The medical marijuana juggernaut is one of his many beats. He's a longtime Westside resident who needs to renew his doctor's recommendation soon. If you have news tips, reach out: raul@the420times.com

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