Southern California Coalition Locks-In New Los Angeles Initiative on March Ballot, Giving Angelenos A Chance to Vote for Responsible Marijuana Laws in Nation’s Largest Cannabis Marketplace this Spring

LOS ANGELES—Southern California Coalition (SCC)—the largest, most inclusive cannabis industry trade organization representing stakeholders across all licensing categories, advocacy organizations, minority groups, veterans, communities and others in Southern California—announced it doubled in size over the course of the last year as our nation’s state-legal cannabis industry continues to grow. SCC also helped secure the placement of a new, comprehensive regulatory framework and approach, called Proposition M, on the City of Los Angeles’ ballot on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.

“Southern California Coalition is changing the way responsible marijuana policies are implemented,” said president and co-founder of the Southern California Coalition and cannabis industry icon, Virgil Grant. “No other cannabis industry trade organization is taking a more comprehensive approach to legalization than SCC. The secret to our success is our ability to listen to our members, along with the people living on the front lines of the world’s largest legal cannabis market. With access to the best real-time information, we are able to craft responsible, inclusive marijuana policies that benefit communities, patients, veterans, minorities, business owners and law enforcement—and not just a select few.”

According to The Arcview Group, the legal cannabis industry grew at a rapid pace in 2016. North American consumers spent $6.9 billion on legal cannabis products, up 34% from 2015. California and local governments are estimated to collect $1 billion a year in taxes, and tens of thousands of jobs have already been created by the sector. With more individuals joining the U.S.’s state-legal cannabis market, SCC saw tremendous growth, doubling its membership in 2016, which now includes hundreds of more seasoned cannabis industry leaders, who are committed to seeing an open, responsible and ethical cannabis marketplace succeed.

Throughout 2016, the Southern California Coalition worked with the Los Angeles City Council to ensure Proposition M (Prop M) would appear on the city’s ballot on March 7, 2017. After numerous discussions, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to place Prop M on the ballot during Los Angeles’ citywide election this March.

As Los Angeles prepares to replace its flawed Prop D measure, SCC is working to ensure the passing of Prop M, which takes a much-more inclusive and responsible approach to legalization. Prop M’s framework provides the people of Los Angeles with a voice in local rulemaking and regulations by requiring public hearings. It also helps ensure that good paying jobs remain available to city workers, and dedicates millions of dollars each year towards city services that will help keep Los Angeles’ communities safer by:

• limiting advertising of marijuana products to make sure ads are not seen by children;
• keeping marijuana stores away from schools, parks and youth facilities;
• establishing tough fines and penalties for the illegal sale of marijuana;
• helping the LA Police Department prevent crime associated with marijuana stores;
• taking cash out of the hands of cartels and illegal businesses by placing it in city coffers and funding programs and services that help the City of Los Angeles; and
• limiting the number of stores in the city and in individual neighborhoods.

“We have been advocating for sensible marijuana policies for decades now,” said Grant. “Prop M is one of the most comprehensive and inclusive measures we have seen to date. It is proof that there’s power in our numbers, and that our voices are stronger together, than apart. We are grateful that Angelenos still have one last chance to implement responsible marijuana laws. Based on the initial response that we are seeing—we are setting high hopes for Prop M’s passing this spring.”