Game-Changing Measure to Serve As a Model for Nation,
California, States, and Counties
LOS ANGELES—Southern California Coalition (SCC), the largest, most inclusive cannabis industry trade organization in the world’s largest cannabis marketplace, Southern California, announced that its recent efforts spearheaded in concert with the Los Angeles City Council has resulted in the passing of the world’s most comprehensive legalization measure—Proposition M. Proposition M is a holistic approach to legalization, which provides Los Angeles City Council with a comprehensive, yet fluid regulatory framework, along with the ability to address issues in real time while fairly licensing, taxing and regulating the city’s state-legal marijuana industry. The measure’s passing will also help create an opportunity to determine the appropriate number of operators needed in order to help meet Los Angeles’ patient and consumer needs in a responsible and sensible way.
“Tonight, we celebrate a measure that protects communities, and doesn’t leave anyone behind,” said Virgil Grant president and co-founder of SCC. “Our plan is to take Proposition M’s framework to Los Angeles County next, to Sacramento and beyond, so that this comprehensive approach can serve as a model for cities, states and the entire country. This measure should serve as evidence that when we listen and work together, we can solve issues, find common ground, and benefit our communities and citizens in the process. We can’t thank our partners, members, supporters and the people of L.A. enough for believing in our mission, and backing this precedent-setting initiative.”
Proposition M is the result of months—and in some cases years—of conversations with elected officials, community leaders, business owners, minority and veterans groups, law enforcement, parents, teachers and others. With the enactment of California’s Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) in 2015, and more recently Proposition 64, which legalized the adult-use of cannabis in California, Proposition M addresses what was broken under Los Angeles’ current system—Proposition D, a flawed measure adopted in 2013, which was aimed at limiting the number of dispensaries in the city. This broken measure failed because it did not give the city the authority it needed to thoroughly tax, regulate, fine, and enforce the cannabis industry. As a result, hundreds of rogue pot shops popped up across Los Angeles, and the city was left losing tens of millions in tax dollars that could have been collected had a properly licensed and fairly regulated system originally been enacted.
Proposition M gives law enforcement a way to finally enforce unregulated players via fines and other penalties, and dedicates millions of dollars each year toward city services such as after-school and first-responder programs, which will help keep L.A.’s communities safer. It also helps opens up the door to communities and minorities, who have been significantly impacted by decades of marijuana prohibition, especially people of color, who are targeted and incarcerated at vastly disproportionate and higher rates than their Caucasian peers.
Today, Los Angeles’ medical marijuana market alone is roughly $1B, easily overshadowing Colorado’s medical and adult-use market. Proposition M will create thousands of more well-paying jobs for Los Angeles workers—jobs, which on average pay more than $20 per hour or nearly double California’s minimum wage, and a whopping 65% higher than the national average.
By laying out a comprehensive framework to license the various sectors of the cannabis industry, fairly taxing and regulating the legal sale of marijuana, enforcing the marketplace, giving communities a voice in what happens in their own neighborhoods regarding zoning, the location of stores, the number of shops in an area, store hours, and how products will be marketed and advertised—and most importantly, taking the time upfront to truly understand the issues and concerns of the stakeholders—Proposition M has struck a remarkable balance that no city, state or government has been able to achieve to date.
“We are thrilled Angelenos voted yes on Proposition M,” said Adam Spiker, executive director of SCC. “This precedent-setting framework will provide Los Angeles with the ability to address issues—not in piecemeal—but in a comprehensive way. The measure will also provide the city with more jobs, along with millions in tax revenue towards city services each year. We will continue to work to implement the comprehensive and inclusive framework that Proposition M lays out as well as work to bring more comprehensive and responsible approaches to legalization to other parts of the state and country.”