LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles’ cannabis task force seized 257,732 pounds of cannabis and $2,127,112 in 2021, police said Tuesday.
The task force, headed by the Deputy Mayor’s Office of Public Safety, is made up of the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Fire Department, the Department of Water and Power, the Department of Building and Safety and the Department of Cannabis Regulations.
“The sale of illegal cannabis is a threat to the public’s health and safety. Unlicensed locations may not test their product or have adequate security,” City Attorney Mike Feuer said. “Customers who patronize illegal shops do so at their peril and undermine businesses who play by the rules. My office has been at the forefront of taking action to shut down these illegal businesses, with over 300 closed so far as a result of our prosecutions.”
According to the LAPD, the process to close down unlicensed cannabis businesses starts with a notice of unauthorized commercial cannabis activity mailed to the location from the police department. If the activity does not cease, the city disconnects utilities and the business occupant and property owner are subject to criminal prosecution.
If disconnection of utilities does not cause the operator to cease activity, police conduct a criminal code enforcement inspection along with the LAFD and the building and safety department. If activity still continues, police and building inspectors padlock and board up the premises.
Since this strategy was implemented, the city went from having over 300 unlicensed retail commercial cannabis businesses in 2018 to 87 now, the LAPD said.
“Along with our city partners, we will continue to aggressively enforce unlicensed activity to enhance the quality of life of all Angelenos,” police said.