Grower Anthony Nguyen sells marijuana at the medical marijuana farmers market at the California Heritage Market in Los Angeles. REUTERS/David McNew
Grower Anthony Nguyen sells marijuana at the medical marijuana farmers market at the California Heritage Market in Los Angeles. REUTERS/David McNew

With Californians in November voting to legalize recreational marijuana starting in 2018, Los Angeles voters Tuesday will decide between two ballot measures aimed at regulating the coming industry.

Measure M, which was placed on the ballot by the City Council, would allow the city to repeal a current ban on medical marijuana dispensaries under the previously approved Proposition D and replace it with a new set of rules for different types of marijuana businesses.

If approved, the measure would give the city tools to enforce its regulations. Businesses operating without a license or ignoring city rules could face civil fines, criminal penalties and the threat of their power and water service being shut off.

The measure would also allow for gross receipts taxes to be imposed on marijuana business activity, including the sale of general-use and medical cannabis, delivery services and manufacturing.

Also on the ballot is initiative Measure N, which calls for giving permitting priority to 135 businesses that have been allowed to operate under the Proposition D ban, and includes taxation and permitting provisions.

The city-backed measure also contains a provision to prioritize the Proposition D-immune medical marijuana dispensaries, prompting the group behind Measure N, the UCBA Trade Association, to back Measure M.

The two measures are technically competing, so if both are approved, the one that receives the most votes will prevail.

–City News Service

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