LOS ANGELES, CA — With hundreds of illegal cannabis shops operating in Los Angeles, a City Council committee made a move Friday toward getting the different agencies responsible for cracking down on them more organized and better funded.
The Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Committee approved a report which recommended that the city establish an information- sharing platform for reporting any complaints about illegal cannabis businesses.
The joint report from the Office of the Chief Legislative Analyst and the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer noted that the Department of Cannabis Regulation currently maintains a cannabis complaint portal, but that the Los Angeles Police Department, the Office of the City Attorney and other departments may receive complaints that are not shared in that system.
“This results in cannabis-related complaints being handled in a piecemeal fashion,” the report said. “A common complaint platform would allow all city departments and offices to upload complaints to be sorted through by DCR, which could then ensure that complaints related to unlicensed businesses are flagged.”
The committee also voted to have the CLA and CAO to report on illegal cannabis enforcement budget needs, and for DCR, with the assistance of the city attorney, to report on creating a program to send cease and desist or warning letters to businesses suspected of engaging in illegal cannabis activity.
The CLA/CAO report, which was issued on Nov. 9, also said that according to the LAPD, this year the department has executed 143 search warrants against locations used in illegal cannabis activity. There have been 435 arrests for illegal cannabis activity within the city, 185 of which were felony arrests, and the LAPD has recovered 67 firearms, seized $604,899 and approximately 34,852 pounds of cannabis, the report said.
There currently are 169 cannabis-related business currently operating legally in the city, according to the DCR, but LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in September that there are hundreds believed to be operating illegally.