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Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022
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Dispensaries Delighted by Prop 64 Vote

Passage of Proposition 64 to legalize recreational marijuana will open up new opportunities for cannabis companies in the Valley, but challenges remain, according to the attorney for a local trade association. Lisa Selan, general counsel for the United Cannabis Business Alliance in Calabasas, said the dispensaries that belong to her organization hope Prop 64 will push the city of Los Angeles to properly regulate cannabis retailing. Since 2007, the city has implemented various schemes to allow medical marijuana dispensaries but also to limit their number. Currently, the system gives 134 dispensaries in the city “limited immunity” to sell medical pot, but City Attorney Mike Feuer’s website says that since Prop D’s passage he has shut down more than 800 illegal shops. Selan said her organization represents so-called Prop D dispensaries. And with recreational marijuana now legal, she hopes the city will finally establish a legalized market with clear rules. “As long as Prop D shops are respected, we are open to the city expanding the market for other licensees, distributors, cultivators and manufacturers but also additional retail opportunities,” she said. While the California Secretary of State is still compiling results, as of Nov. 17 Prop 64 had 56 percent approval from voters statewide. A recent study by Arcview Market Research estimated that the combined medical and recreational pot market in California will expand from a current $2.8 billion to nearly $6.5 billion by 2020. However, even with legalization, marijuana remains illegal under federal law, so banks cannot accept money from pot sales. “As billions of dollars start to flow through California for cannabis, the quantity of cash that won’t have a place to go will create problems,” she said. But Prop 64’s passage could send a message to the Feds that it’s time to change their financial rules. “We are positive about the statement California has made,” Selan explained. “As the largest economy in the U.S., by passing an adult use regulation it will speak volumes to the federal government. The federal government is negligent in not opening up banking for this industry.” – Joel Russell

Joel Russel
Joel Russel
Joel Russell joined the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2006 as a reporter. He transferred to sister publication San Fernando Valley Business Journal in 2012 as managing editor. Since he assumed the position of editor in 2015, the Business Journal has been recognized four times as the best small-circulation tabloid business publication in the country by the Alliance of Area Business Publishers. Previously, he worked as senior editor at Hispanic Business magazine and editor of Business Mexico.
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