Over 100,000 Signatures Submitted in Support of New Cannabis Permitting System in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 19, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — UCBA Trade Association (UCBA), the largest trade association of Proposition D compliant medical marijuana dispensaries operating legally within the City of Los Angeles, has submitted to the Los Angeles City Clerk, over 100,000 petitions signed by City of Los Angeles voters to place an ordinance on the March, 2017 LA City Ballot.

The ordinance has been drafted in response to the California Legislature passing the “Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act” (MMRSA) which requires any local jurisdiction to explicitly permit or license cannabis activity. After January 1, 2018, the voter approved Proposition D will no longer provide sufficient legal grounds for any cannabis activity to take place in the City unless a new regulatory system is adopted.

Jerred Kiloh, the elected President of the UCBA noted that “the UCBA recognized the immediate need for the City to re-examine cannabis activity in light of recent changes to California laws. Coming together, we sought input from our members and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union, and we worked hard to draft an ordinance that will provide $10,000 per day fines for illegal operators, increase City revenues by including taxes on medical and adult use and give the City council full authority to provide ownership opportunities for economically disadvantaged communities.”

In addition to creating an annually reviewable cannabis activity permit, the UCBA measure establishes the Los Angeles Department of Medical Marijuana Regulation which will process and issue permits for marijuana sales, cultivation, manufacturing, testing, distribution and transportation – all activities permitted under the new state MMRSA. At its core, the new ordinance will provide licenses to pre-existing, legally operating dispensaries while giving the Council flexibility to include other cannabis activity and to increase the number of dispensaries if they so choose.

“As the only trade association solely representing legally operating dispensaries, we understand there are many who have been operating on the fringe of legality. The industry as a whole is increasing economic benefits for thousands of Angelenos, while serving patients that need safe access. We are confident that this new ordinance will grandfather in existing, legally operating businesses while giving consideration to new cannabis activity as determined by the City’s communities and ultimately the City Council,” noted Kiloh.

Rick Icaza, President of UFCW Local 770 added: “The UFCW has historically fought on the side of social and economic justice for working people across this Country. With this ballot measure, we are confident that the City will be able to ensure that the economics of this burgeoning industry touch each of the diverse communities of Los Angeles and are managed in a way to protect this new field of workers.”

In 2013, 63% of Los Angeles voters approved Proposition D, which granted a limited immunity to 135 medical marijuana dispensaries. Since the passage of Proposition D, the number of illegal marijuana operations has increased to what some estimate to be over 1,000 shops. Many of the illegal operations are open within close proximity to schools, churches and parks, which is illegal under Proposition D. Additionally, few, if any illegal dispensaries pay state and local sales taxes or City of Los Angeles gross receipts taxes.

About the UCBA:
UCBA Trade Association (UCBA), a trade association of Proposition D compliant medical marijuana dispensaries operating legally within the City of Los Angeles, has been formed.  The association’s charter members include over 40 of the 135 legally authorized medical marijuana dispensaries in the City of Los Angeles.   For more information, please visit our website at www.ucbatradeassn.com.

CONTACT: Media Inquiries: Harvey Englander (213) 741.1500 x 518 or Harvey@ekapr.com