With hundreds illegal marijuana shops continuing to operate in Los Angeles, a City Council committee Friday will consider a new tactic aimed at cracking down on the businesses by having their water and power utility lines cut off.
The idea of shutting off utilities at illegal shops was proposed last year by Councilwomen Nury Martinez and Monica Rodriguez in a motion directing city staff report on the viability of implementing an ordinance that allows the city to disconnect or shut off utility service to unlicensed pot businesses.
A recent report from the Office of Chief Legislative Analyst set to be discussed by the Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Committee recommends the City Council draft the ordinance, which would authorize the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to disconnect utilities at a service address if the Department of Cannabis Regulation provides written confirmation that the address in question does not have a license to engage in commercial cannabis activity, and the Los Angeles Police Department or another city department provides written confirmation to the LADWP that commercial cannabis activity is occurring at an address.
Although marijuana has been legal for recreational sales in California since Jan. 1 of last year, a license from both the state and city of Los Angeles is required to legally operate a dispensary in L.A.. Hundreds of illegal businesses are believed to be operating in breach of the regulations, according to LAPD Chief Michel Moore.