Medical Marijuana Food Items Go Unregulated In Los Angeles
In Los Angeles County, why can one store sell prepared food without a county health inspection and another can't? Because if that first store is a medical marijuana dispensary, and that food happens to contain marijuana, then it's medicine, which isn't subject to county health rules governing restaurants and other spots that sell prepared food.
Who's making those brownies, lollipops and cookies? And are they cooked up in a clean environment? Who knows. The California Department of Public Health tells the Weekly it also stays away from places that produce marijuana edibles because they would be considered "drug manufacturing facilities" -- and thus would be outside its jurisdiction.
This is a loophole big enough to drive a lunch truck through. We joked to county Department of Environmental Health specialist Nick Brakband and if we sold sandwiches with aspirin inside we could avoid the health inspectors who normally keep a close eye on sandwich shops.
He said, yeah, something like that.
So pot shops that sell food don't have to have those letter grades in their windows? Nope. So long as the edibles they sell contain dope.
"It's considered to be a drug or medicine because it has the marijuana in it," Brakband said. "If they did have legitimate food items they would fall under our normal inspections."
We can see the lights going off in the heads of hole-in-the-wall doughnut-shop owners across the Southland right about now.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.
- Should Obama Deny Funding for Secretive LAPD Body Cams?
Sat., Sep. 5, 12:30pm
Sat., Sep. 5, 8:00pm
Sun., Sep. 6, 12:35pm
Sun., Sep. 6, 1:00pm
- Olympian Rhetoric Heralds a New Phase for a "Back to Basics" Mayor
- A Watts Redevelopment Project Continues to Get the Shaft, and City Councilman Buscaino...