LA officials crack down on illegal cannabis dispensaries

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles city authorities raided and shut down an illegal cannabis dispensary in South Los Angeles as part of an effort to encourage only legal weed businesses to operate.

The illegal dispensary at 89th Street and Broadway had a green cross and green arrows on the building, indicating the operators made little effort to hide the nature of the business. But city officials say the shop was operating without city permission.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city supports legal dispensaries, but businesses that operate without permits are endangering those that took the time to wait in line to operate legally. The city estimates there are at least 200 dispensaries operating illegally, with a high concentration in South Los Angeles.

"Illegal operations are getting in the way of opportunity," Garcetti said. "They're undercutting more than 300 local businesses that have temporary licenses to legally sell cannabis here in L.A."

"I want to be clear about one thing: this is not an effort to recriminalize our war on drugs," Garcetti added. "Or to go after people who are there waiting in line, follow the rules. There are about 600 businesses who are waiting in that line in order to get licenses here in L.A."

The city's cannabis enforcement task force is also sending letters to landlords warning them against leasing to illegal dispensary owners.
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