The City Council last night endorsed a measure that would give recreational cannabis sales licenses to the four original medical cannabis retailers who failed to qualify for them in the licensing process.
The Council’s decision brought to an end a lengthy and expensive battle with the four original cannabis retailers — known as the Originals — that included their securing enough signatures to put on the Nov. 3 a measure that would essentially void the licensing process. One of the Originals, MedMen, also has filed a lawsuit in L.A. Superior Court challenging the process.
The approval was in a four to one vote, with City Councilmember John D’Amico voting no. D’Amico objected to the decision not because it granted recreational cannabis licenses to the original medical cannabis retailers, but because he said it was another example of an expensive and unnecessary battle fought by the city with business owners. D’Amico cited the city’s recent decision to yield to Korman Communities’ demand that it be allowed to rent apartments in its building at 8500 Sunset Blvd. for periods of as little as 31 days. That decision followed a long and expensive legal battle with Korman, which claimed the city’s decision would cause it to lose $40 million in revenue.
The measure passed by the Council last night comes after meetings by City Hall staff to craft a compromise with the Originals and with AURA (Adult Use Retailers Association), which represents those who qualified for one of the eight recreational cannabis licenses granted last year after a lengthy and expensive application process. The number of permitted recreational cannabis retailers in West Hollywood now will be 11 (with one of the eight recreational license recipients dropping out, one of the Originals will receive its license.) The original medical cannabis retailers are Alternative Herbal Health Services, Los Angeles Patients and Caregivers Group, MedMen, and Zen Healing Collective.
Published: August 04, 2020
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News