Legal marijuana industry presses for crackdown on illegal shops in California

Legal marijuana industry presses for crackdown on illegal shops in California

The legal marijuana industry in California is asking officials to intervene in widespread unregulated distribution practices in the state, saying illegal distributors are pushing legal shops out of business.

The Southern California Coalition, a cannabis industry group, penned a letter Monday to Los Angeles City Hall asking for a crackdown on the rampant illegal shops. 

In the letter, the coalition urges officials to seize cash and cannabis from illegal shops, saying that they may be selling tainted products. 

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Without needing to follow legal requirements to test products, the coalition wrote "there's a high probability the ... cannabis products in these shops are contaminated." 

The coalition also said the illegal shops are driving the legal industry out of business, because taxes and regulatory fees make it difficult to compete with the unregulated shops, according to the report.

Recreational marijuana sales became legal in California in January 2018. It is one of 11 states and Washington, D.C., to allow recreational marijuana. Thirty-three states also have legal medical marijuana. And recent polls have found record-high support for marijuana legalization. 

Updated Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.