Councilwoman Price Recommends Penalties for Buildings With Illegal Marijuana Businesses

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 5:00 PM Councilwoman Price will be bringing an item to the Long Beach City Council asking her colleagues to vote in favor of drafting an ordinance applying penalties on property owners who rent or lease property to illegally operating marijuana businesses, and that gives the City the ability to shut off utility service to properties that are not operating legally. This item is supported by Second District Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce and Seventh District Councilmember Roberto Uranga.

“Long Beach needs effective tools at our disposal to limit the detrimental effects of illegal marijuana businesses to our communities, and our city resources. If we can shut down an illegal marijuana business faster because we have made it too difficult for them to operate illegally, then we free up city resources in Code Enforcement, in the Police Department and in the City Prosecutor’s office to be rededicated to helping Long Beach in other ways,” stated Councilwoman Price. 

With November’s passage of Measure MM in Long Beach medicinal marijuana operations have begun being permitted throughout the City. During the lead up to the measure’s voter approval it was made clear that Long Beach can expect an influx of unlicensed and illegally operating marijuana businesses to begin operating in the City as a result of Measure MM. These illegal businesses create additional costs to the City as it must work to enforce the current laws, and shut them down resulting in additional resources and staff time in a number of city departments to inspect, enforce, penalize, and prosecute. Shutting an illegal business down can take months to achieve, and all the while the illegal business can continue operating and generating revenue. Which is why the City needs effective tools to stop illegal businesses from operating that include penalties to property owners and the ability to shut off utilities to businesses operating illegally.

“I have long been cautious about how we approach something that remains a Schedule One narcotic in the eyes of the Federal Government, something that creates businesses targeted for crime due to their cash only transactions, due to the dangers of impaired driving when there are not currently tests to empirically prove impairment, and is expected to require significant increases to city resources. However, tools like this can help reduce concerns and ensure businesses operating in Long Beach are doing so legally.” Councilwoman Price concluded by stating, “Long Beach wants all legally operating businesses to succeed, but ensuring we encourage compliance by using serious penalties is the best way to protect legal businesses, patrons, and impacted communities.”

For more information, call 562.570.6300 or e-mail District3@LongBeach.gov.

Comments

One Response to “Councilwoman Price Recommends Penalties for Buildings With Illegal Marijuana Businesses”
  1. Diana Lejins says:

    This move begs the question…. shouldn’t this apply to any property owner who rents to an illegal entity? This should include Ms. Price’s drug of choice–alcohol.



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