After all it's been an industry -- with some saying there have been more pot shops than Starbucks in L.A. -- that has flown under the regulatory radar until the L.A. City Council finally put its foot down last year (and even then there are court challenges to the crackdown).
What would surprise us is who's saying it:
None other than the city's top dispensary advocate, Don Duncan.
According to journalist Mark Lacter's enlightening Los Angeles magazine piece on whether full legalization will be a boon to California business, Duncan indeed says only about a third of the city's pot shops are full legit.
This is the guy who who has been a lead -- let's say -- influencer (because whether or not he worked as a lobbyist would be a legal question) as City Hall moved to draw up its rules for pot shops.
And as such, he's been an advocate of looser rules for pot shops (rebutting the City Attorney's idea that weed be grown on-site, for example, to discourage shady supply lines). He owns one in West Hollywood.
Duncan, California director of Americans for Safe Access, has been a true pot-shop soldier, and weed retailers across the city might owe him thanks.
Except that now he says most are not exactly on-the-level.
Duncan suspects that a third of the operators are legit, a third are connivers of one sort or another, and a third are somewhere in between.
Maybe he's just trying to protect his investment from more competition?