With hundreds of illegal marijuana shops continuing to operate in Los Angeles, the City Council moved forward with a plan Tuesday aimed at cracking down on the businesses by shutting off their utilities.
The idea of shutting off water and power at illegal pot shops was proposed last year by Councilwomen Nury Martinez and Monica Rodriguez, and the council voted 13-0 to have the City Attorney’s Office draft an ordinance outlining the proposed policy.
“Shutting down the utilities for an operation that’s illegally operating, it’s a no-brainer, it’s just that simple,” Martinez said before the vote. “By operating in a community illegally you are creating havoc, you’re not playing by the rules, you should get shut down.”
The proposed ordinance would authorize the Department of Water and Power to disconnect utilities at illegal businesses, with the requirement that the Department of Cannabis Regulation must provide written confirmation that the address in question does not have a license, and the Los Angeles Police Department or another city agency must provide written confirmation to the LADWP that commercial cannabis activity is occurring at the 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 is required to legally operate a dispensary in Los Angeles. Hundreds of illegal businesses are believed to be operating in breach of the regulations, according to LAPD Chief Michel Moore
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