Stig Nygaard

Los Angeles, California Cracks Down on Unlicensed Cannabis Operators; 160 Arrested

A crackdown on unlicensed commercial cannabis locations in Los Angeles, California yesterday resulted in 160 arrests and 36 criminal cases against 142 people, according to a KTLA report. Los Angeles Police Department Officer Stacy Spell said, since January, the department has served 54 search warrants on illegal shops, seizing more than 6,200 pounds of cannabis and 29 guns. Wednesday’s operation netted more than $300,000.

Under Prop. 64, the violations are misdemeanors. Those convicted face up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines per violation. City Attorney Mike Feuer told KTLA that he believed every day they were operating would count as a violation.

“If you’re operating an illegal cannabis shop selling medical marijuana then you’re going to be subject to criminal prosecution.” – Feuer to KTLA

In April, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control sent more than 1,000 cease-and-desist letters to unlicensed operators. Regulators have used advertising platforms, such as Weedmaps, to find illegal shops. Weedmaps has argued that many of the unlicensed businesses advertising with the platform are protected under the state law until January because they are cannabis cooperatives and the state’s old medical cannabis laws allow such non-profits to operate until the new law’s sunset clause takes effect.

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