Los Angeles Cannabis Justice
Los Angeles Cannabis Justice
No Justice! No Peace!
This affects ALL CANNABIS BUSINESSES!!
1. All Cannabis Businesses and Applicants in the City of Los Angeles are PROHIBITED from changing their locations! NO JUSTICE! Landlords are demanding a percentage of the business and a portion of the business profits in exchange for a lease.
The Los Angeles real estate market and investment companies have undertaken strategic tactics which include having unfair lease agreements, exorbitant rents with extreme monetary increases of rent along with prejudicial practices to shift and eliminate prior agreements, putting approved, licensed and authorized applicants and owners into license abandonment status with DCR.
2. All Cannabis Businesses in the City of Los Angeles are now required to file and pay taxes monthly and not yearly! NO PEACE!
This is extremely counter productive causing additional costs and fees which are burdensome to cannabis business operators.
3. The City of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation aka DCR must have standard procedures and regulated response time to community and business inquiries and issues!
The DCR responses can take as long as 6 months and that is if you get any response at all. This creates many issues for the cannabis business operators, including compliance, financial, administrative, legal, day to day operations, and loss of business.
The City of Los Angeles should NOT receive any grant money for a Social Equity Program because a Social Equity Program does NOT exist.
Our community wants to express concerns and reservations regarding particular details about the City of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation Ordinance [DCR]. We are recommending that these changes be made immediately to prevent further harm to the City of Los Angeles Cannabis Businesses. Our goal is to see the City of Los Angeles Cannabis Industry will flourish in a fair way to ensure true equity and success for legal cannabis businesses and their owners.
There are several problems with the City Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulations Ordinances:
1. Change of Address/Business Property Relocation: LAMC 104.08(e) An Applicant under this section shall not be permitted to change the location of its Business Premises on its application after May 15, 2019. If an Applicant did not identify a Business Premises on its application by May 15, 2019, its application shall be deemed abandoned. (Added by Ord. No. 186,111, Eff. 6/14/19.)
104.08 (f) An Applicant under this section that has not received Temporary Approval shall report to DCR by July 1, 2019, whether it has made substantial progress, as determined by DCR, towards preparing its Business Premises to pass a pre-license inspection. An Applicant who cannot report substantial progress by July 1, 2019, shall have its application deemed abandoned. An Applicant who reports substantial progress by July 1, 2019, shall be required to pass a pre-license inspection by December 31, 2019, or its application shall be deemed abandoned unless DCR grants the Applicant an extension due to extenuating circumstances as determined by DCR in its sole discretion. (Added by Ord. No. 186,111, Eff. 6/14/19.)
This policy prohibits a City of Los Angeles cannabis business from relocating their business at any time which prohibits them from starting, operating or growing their business. This is constraining approved licensed cannabis businesses and pending cannabis business applicants from relocating or acquiring a different location for ANY reason. There have been severe issues acquiring and keeping a qualifying address location due to predatory business practices by landlords and investors. The Los Angeles real estate market and investment companies have undertaken strategic tactics which include having unfair lease agreements, exorbitant rents with extreme monetary increases of rent along with prejudicial practices to shift and eliminate prior agreements, putting approved, licensed and authorized applicants and owners into license abandonment status with DCR.
Some landlords are demanding a percentage of the business and a portion of the business profits in exchange for a lease. If a cannabis business licensee or cannabis business applicant requests a business location change it is automatically denied. Upon being denied, if the business does not remain at the same address which requires a change of address, the application is then an “abandoned application” therefore canceling the cannabis business application by DCR. Furthermore, this is discriminatory because there is no other business in the City of Los Angeles that is prohibited from relocating their business locations if they are complying with all business location laws and policies. This policy creates an economic burden when it prohibits a business to move. This change of address denial prohibits many businesses potential investors, business growth and potential community employment. Cannabis business operators are losing investors, losing loans, losing income, losing potential accounts, losing locations, losing previous investments, and losing entire businesses that have taken years, money and time to build.
[Questions that MUST be addressed:
1. Why is the change of address deadline 5/15/19 and the effective date 6/14/19 as stated in the ordinance?
2. When and why did this change of address deadline go into effect?
3. Why did DCR only extend the deadline for Pre-licensing inspections and not for a change of address which is just as critical?]
2. Taxes: City of Los Angeles: The filing and payment of taxes has been changed for Los Angeles cannabis businesses from filing and paying City of Los Angeles business taxes once every year to now filing and paying City of Los Angeles business taxes once every month. This is extremely counter productive, additional costs and fees and burdensome to cannabis business operators. This new tax filing and paying policy must be changed to the same as the once a year filing and payment schedule that all other business in Los Angeles have currently. Furthermore, this is discrimination because there are currently no other businesses in the City of Los Angeles that are required to file and pay their taxes each month and not each year.
3. Inquiry Response Time: The City of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation must have a standard response time policy in place for responding to inquiries and issue solution. The Department of Cannabis Regulation has no standard response procedure in place for responses to inquiries or issues. The DCR responses can take as long as 6 months and that is if you get any response at all. This creates many issues for the cannabis businesses, including financial, administrative, legal, compliance issues, day to day operations and loss of business. The cannabis industry is a new business for Los Angeles and the Department of Cannabis Regulation always has new updates, notices and amended procedures, deadlines and policies that need to be addressed by business operators, advocates, community members, consumers, legal representatives, etc.
It is proposed that when the Department of Cannabis Regulation receives an inquiry the Department will be required to respond within 72 hours. Each response should be custom to the inquiry or request made. If the inquiry or issue requires resolution it will be finalized within 14 days. If there is no resolution or decision made, DCR needs to provide a written notice as to why a resolution has not been made and request additional time of no longer than an additional 7 days.
A NOTICE FROM DCR:
Response Requested - California Cannabis Equity Act of 2018 Reporting Survey
by DCR Staff on May 29, 2020
The City of Los Angeles is requesting that ALL cannabis business licensees and applicants and ALL verified Social Equity Applicants complete the following survey by Sunday, June 7, 2020, in compliance with the reporting requirements of the California Cannabis Equity Act of 2018 (Equity Act) and Item 1111-490 of Section 2 of the Budget Act of 2019 (Budget Act).
The data gathered will be used for reporting purposes as required by Provision 5(d) of the Budget Act of 2019, 1111‐490 Reappropriation and Section 26244(c) of the California Cannabis Equity Act of 2018. Additionally, this information may be disclosed in response to a California Public Records Act request (Government Code section 6250 et seq.), to another government agency, or in response to a court or administrative order, subpoena, or search warrant.This survey is completely voluntary.
The California Cannabis Equity Grant Program was created under the California Cannabis Equity Act of 2018 to aid local equity programs to support equity applicants and equity licensees. Over a dozen jurisdictions across the state were awarded grants to help fund their local social equity programs.
On October 9, 2019, the Bureau of Cannabis Control announced the City of Los Angeles was awarded $1,834,156.38 in grant funding made available by the California Cannabis Equity Grant Program for Local Jurisdictions for fiscal year 2019-2020.
The City of Los Angeles will be utilizing this funding to provide verified Social Equity Program Applicants various resources including Business Development and Workforce Development Services. Additional information on how the City of Los Angeles will utilize funds awarded through this grant will be available after the start of the next Fiscal Year, July 1, 2020.