A local initiative that would save city pot shops from extinction has pretty much qualified for the March ballot.
The United Cannabis Business Alliance's (UCBA) Los Angeles Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act has enough endorsements from registered voters to qualify it for the ballot, the City Clerk's office says. Backers turned in 103,903 signatures when only 61,487 were needed, the office said in a statement. Computer sampling determined that there were 110 percent or more of required endorsements on the petition.
In the weeks ahead, the City Council can call a special election or put the measure on the next regular election ballot — March's — clerk's officials said.
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The measure, also known as the Cannabis Activity Permits and Regulation Initiative, was designed to help the city's marijuana dispensaries survive after Jan. 1, 2018, when state rules requiring local licensing for pot businesses go into effect.
Los Angeles doesn't license collectives. Under voter-approved Proposition D in 2013, about 135 or fewer such businesses that have been around since 2007 are tolerated under a system of limited legal immunity. Without local licenses, those shops could be shut down in 2018.
The UCBA, which represents a portion of those 135, is trying to save those businesses and then some. The measure also would allow the City Council to expand the number of legit dispensaries in town. And it's possible that delivery from brick-and-mortar shops could be allowed.
"For so long, the city, its residents and the industry were living with unclear rules, no permitting system and ad hoc enforcement," said UCBA president Jerred Kiloh. "The ballot measure creates a framework for the city to regulate the cannabis industry. Our measure is inclusive, fair and will bring relief to neighborhoods that are oversaturated by illegal operators."