Recreational pot will be legal in just about two weeks, and Los Angeles County leaders are taking steps to make sure consumers are sold a safe product.
The L.A. County Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday to create a set of rules for pot shops and marijuana manufacturing facilities. They include:
- The permitting and inspection rules would only apply to businesses in cities that agree to contract with Los Angeles County for regulatory oversight
- Marijuana businesses in the contracted cities would be required to obtain public health permits
- Retail marijuana sellers would be inspected by the county's public health department two times a year
- Businesses would be charged permitting and service fees, which would range from $1,200 to more than $4,000 per year, depending on the square footage and type of business
“This is to at least provide consumers some sort of assurance that what they’re buying is what they think they’re getting,” said Dr. Michael Hochman, a senior health deputy for L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.
The Department of Public Health is also considering an emblem program, where businesses would be required to prominently display their licenses. This would allow consumers to easily distinguish licensed and inspected retail stores from the unlicensed ones, Hochman said.
Individual cities would have to first agree to contract with the county for this oversight. The city of Los Angeles is likely to be the first to sign on.