California Legislature approves $100M plan to save struggling legal marijuana industry

California
A marijuana farm in a sprawling greenhouse complex in Carpinteria ​is seen in an undated photo. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

A marijuana farm in a sprawling greenhouse complex in Carpinteria is seen in an undated photo. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The California Legislature on Monday approved a $100-million plan to bolster California’s legal marijuana industry, which continues to struggle to compete with the large illicit pot market nearly five years after voters approved sales for recreational use.

Los Angeles will be the biggest beneficiary of the money, which was proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to be provided as grants to cities and counties to help cannabis businesses transition from provisional to regular licenses.

“California voters approved Proposition 64 five years ago and entrusted the Legislature with creating a legal, well-regulated cannabis market,” said Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), the chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee. “We have yet to reach that goal.”

Many cannabis growers, retailers and manufacturers have struggled to make the transition from a provisional, temporary license to a permanent one renewed on an annual basis — a process that requires a costly, complicated and time-consuming review of the negative environmental effects involved in a businesses and a plan for reducing those harms.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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