Los Angeles County officials are asking residents to weigh in on recreational marijuana regulations. Los Angeles Daily News reports that California is about six months away from the legalization of the drug, meaning that officials have limited time to get a framework in place.
The open comment sessions will include residents of the county’s unincorporated areas, according to Daily News. Locals are encouraged to give their input on a county ordinance, which will be finalized by the end of 2017. Daily Newsreports that county supervisors have recently outlined measures that allow residents to grow up to six cannabis plants, no more than six feet tall, inside or outside of their houses.
These county regulations specify Proposition 64, or the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which was approved in November. Daily News reports that the act will legalize marijuana use for adults older than 21. Residents can possess up to on ounce, or eight grams, of cannabis at any given time and can grow up to six plants. The law, which will go into effect at the beginning of 2018, prohibits marijuana possession at schools, as well as using in public places or while operating a vehicle.
Jack Scatizzi, managing director at Canopy San Diego, a tech company focused on funding cannabis companies, said in a statement to The San Diego Union Tribune, that once recreational marijuana officially becomes legal, it may take some time for it to be easily accessible.
“This will get done but I don’t think this will be a situation where come Jan. 1, you can walk in and get into any dispensary and buy,” he said. “It will probably be a slow roll out.”
Existing dispensaries have been reserved for medical marijuana, which has been legalized in 29 states and the District of Columbia, changing the way that some of the 5,564 hospitals in the United States handle some medical treatments. Recreational marijuana, specifically, has been praised for its economic impact, something that Scatizzi said could change the minds of those who oppose legalization.
“If California can do it right,” he said, “and if the amount of taxes they’re predicting comes in, and if it’s able to [reduce] some of our deficits, with no increase in cannabis-related accidents and we don’t see an increases in crimes related to cannabis, it’s going to blow all of the naysayers out of the water.”
For Los Angeles County residents who are interested in voicing their opinions, the Daily News has published a list of public comment sessions.