Recreational and commercial cannabis becomes legal throughout California beginning in January. All municipalities of the state must have bans or regulations in place before commercial licensing begins on January 1st, or the state will take authority. Torrance, Redondo Beach, and Manhattan Beach each passed ordinances earlier this week banning recreational marijuana dispensaries, manufacturing operations, and delivery services temporarily to maintain local control.
The cities plan to wait and see how the state and other cities will approach regulations. Other South Bay cities, such as Hermosa Beach and Rancho Palos Verdes have passed similar ordinances recently. Voters in the city of Carson have already approved city taxes on the growing and sale of cannabis but have yet to allow any businesses to operate within city limits.
California passed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act in November 2016, which allows adults over the age of 21 to grow up to six cannabis plants per household. Cities can regulate home growing, including requiring permits, inspections, or prohibiting plants in public view.
The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office has been reluctant to prosecute cases as the laws change. With technology such as the app "Weedmaps," which points users to nearby dispensaries and delivery serviecs, law enforcement recognizes the futility of attempting to crack down on these businesses.
Torrance has considered allowing dispensaries in limited industrial areas and Redondo Beach has discussed allowing pot shops as well. Allowing dispensaries could be of critical financial benefit to Redondo Beach, which lost a huge amount of sales tax revenue when Nordstrom left the South Bay Galleria for Del Amo in Torrance a few years ago.
Most South Bay cities plan to revisit the issue again in 2018. For now, the prohibition will be in effect temporarily until city officials can study and investigate the issue of commercializing marijuana completely.
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