LA County Considers Fining Unlicensed Cannabis Operators $30K per Day

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is planning a $30,000-per-day fine for unlicensed cannabis operations in unincorporated areas of the county.

Full story after the jump.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to introduce an ordinance that would implement $30,000 daily fines for illegal cannabis operations in unincorporated areas of the county, CBSLA reports. The vote comes as several California municipalities and state lawmakers are seeking changes to cannabis laws due, in part, to the thriving unregulated market.

The supervisors on Tuesday did not approve the ordinance, which requires another vote but that is seen as “largely an administrative matter,” the report says.

Supervisor Kathryn Barger, one of the co-sponsors, told the Board that in addition to outdoor grows, homes in the area “are being gutted and converted to indoor grows to grow hundreds of plants.”

“This motion is not about making cannabis illegal. This motion is about protecting the consumer and the community against the unforeseen impact of illegal cannabis cultivation.” Barger via CBSLA

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, the other co-sponsor, said the illegal grows and dispensaries “cause huge public safety and environmental safety concerns.”

“It includes water theft, damage to our fire hydrants, just stealing water to make this happen,” she said during Tuesday’s meeting. “This water is a great loss to our communities that are imminently threatened by wildfires.”

Supervisor Hilda Solis said there are at least 30 unlicensed dispensaries operating in unincorporated areas of the county. Supervisor Janice Hahn indicated she would like to see permitting options for unlicensed businesses, noting that a Los Angeles County workgroup tasked with making recommendations for cannabis licensing in the region had finished its work last month.

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