hand picking cannabis flower from glass jar

On L.A.’s Complex Cannabis Landscape

Brad Rowe, researcher and lecturer of drug and criminal justice policy at UCLA Luskin, spoke to LAist’s “Air Talk” about Los Angeles’ complex landscape of cannabis sales. The legalization of marijuana for recreational use in California initially sparked a Green Rush, but licensed operators are finding that the high cost of doing business and lax enforcement against illicit shops make it tough to compete. Now, the unlicensed market is about two to three times the size of licensed sales, according to Rowe, author of  “Cannabis Policy in the Age of Legalization.” He spoke about the public health risks of untested products and public safety concerns surrounding large, unregulated facilities with weapons and large sums of cash on the premises — “not the kind of neighbors that you want.” Rowe called for targeted, equitable, effective enforcement that protects the rights of legal businesses. “No one has an appetite for heavy-handed drug enforcement,” he said. “The key word is fairness.”


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