LOS ANGELES (CNS) - As a measure to protect cannabis consumers from untested and unregulated product at unlicensed businesses, two Los Angeles City Council members introduced a motion today aimed at implementing a county program that issues emblem placards to licensed cannabis businesses.
Under the County of Los Angeles' Emblem Program for Authorized Cannabis Stores, storefront and delivery cannabis businesses are able to apply for an emblem, obtain the requisite inspection and place the emblem on their premises in an area visible to someone outside the store.
``Unfortunately, unlicensed commercial cannabis activity continues to undermine the legal commercial cannabis industry and threaten the health and safety of Los Angeles residents,'' said Councilman Paul Koretz, who co- introduced the motion.
``I have been working on getting this emblem program designed and implemented for the past few years because consumers have a difficult time discerning legal and illegal businesses by appearance and may be unknowingly doing business with unlicensed operators, many of which sell unregulated products that are tainted, contaminated or mislabeled, and could cause serious illness if consumed.''
The motion, if passed by the City Council, would instruct the Los Angeles City Attorney to draft an ordinance implementing the county program in the city. Koretz's office said the emblem program would launch later this year if an ordinance is adopted.
``Establishing an Emblem Program will allow patrons to make an informed choice of where they want to shop and spend their hard-earned money. This initiative will provide a comfort level that they're at a business that is properly regulated and inspected by the county,'' said Councilman Curren Price, who co-introduced the motion with Koretz. ``Furthermore, such a program will inform customers of safe locations to shop for legal cannabis.''
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer commended the council members for considering having the county's largest city join the program, saying it would help ensure the safety of cannabis employees and consumers. Under the program, Public Health officials inspect a location and ensure it is in compliance with applicable public health laws and regulations.
``DCR looks forward to facilitating, educating and verifying that our licensed operators also meet all public health standards which will allow the public to make informed and healthy consumer decisions,'' said Michelle Garakian, acting executive director of the city of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation. ``We welcome our partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health; our collective aim is to partner to protect the health of consumers, employees and the community.''