Another 4/20 is upon us, and this year, two Los Angeles city councilmen took to the opportunity to encourage those who observe the unofficial pot holiday to celebrate responsibly.
In a video posted to YouTube, Joe Buscaino and Marqueece Harris-Dawson wished Angelenos a “happy 4/20.”
Describing the city as the “largest and most important cannabis economy in the world,” the councilmen said the local industry generates billions of dollars in sales every year.
But while 181 marijuana businesses operate with a license in L.A., hundreds more are doing so illegally and are not collecting taxes, according to the officials.
This amounts to about $70 million in lost annual revenue, which the city could use to repair streets and sidewalks, fund local parks and more, the council members said.
Unlicensed shops also sell unregulated products, many of them counterfeit edibles that may contain pesticides or other materials, they warned. (The city attorney earlier this week filed a lawsuit against a South L.A. cannabis store accused of offering marijuana products that contained a dangerous pesticide banned in California.)
The city is working on shutting down those businesses and pursuing property owners who rent to them, the council members said.
“This is not about being anti-cannabis, this is about being pro-business, pro-legal business,” Buscaino said. “This is about respecting the law, respecting order and about respecting those businesses who are playing by the rules and going through the process legally.”
The video ended with a message from Buscaino, who professed to be a “CBD kind of guy”: “Happy Easter and Happy Passover to everyone, too. Just be sure not to go to church or temple stoned.”