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L.A. Sues Unlicensed Pot Shop for $20,000 Per Day

We’ve spent the last month writing about state regulations from the Bureau of Cannabis Control.

But on Thursday, the L.A. Times reminded us that cities and counties have a lot to say about pot, too.

The city of Los Angeles, for example, has sued an unlicensed shop whose pot may have contained an illegal pesticide. The lawsuit aims to shut down the shop and levy a civil penalty of $20,000 for each day of unlicensed activity. Since the shop was operating for about a year, that could run up to $7.5 million. The suit also targets the property owners who signed the lease and the real-estate agents who brokered it because the city says they knew the lease was not for a church like it said it was.

Usually, the city just files criminal cases instead. In the last year, the city attorney’s office has filed 217 criminal cases against illegal shops or delivery services, closing 113 of them and naming 840 defendants.

Meanwhile, the city council passed an ordinance last month to shut off utilities at unlicensed shops.

According to one councilmember, “We are sharpening our tools and we’re laying the basis to deliver what the voters expect from us … a legal regulated market with appropriate built-in controls.”

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