Los Angeles County

Regulations for Cannabis Related Commercial Activity

County Description

Los Angeles County, officially the County of Los Angeles, with a population of more than ten million people, is the most populous county in the United States. It has 88 incorporated cities and many unincorporated areas and at 4,083 square miles (10,570 km2) it is larger than the combined areas of the U.S. states of Delaware and Rhode Island. The county contains more than one quarter of all California residents and is one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the U.S.

Updated: 12/1/17

Political Statistics

County Board of Supervisors

State Senate

CA State Senate

State Assembly

CA State Assembly

US Congress

U.S. Congress – House of Representatives

US Senators

U.S. Senators –State of California
Kamala D. Harris and Diane Feinstein

City-Level Cannabis Laws

CULTIVATION

BANNED

Medical Use Only For Patient

11.66.010 – Medical marijuana program identification card—Applications.

The county health officer shall provide applications upon request to individuals seeking a medical marijuana program identification card pursuant to Division 10, Chapter 6, Article 2.5 of the Health and Safety Code. (Ord. 2006-0038 § 1 (part), 2006.)

The California Department of Public Health’s Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program (MMICP) was specifically established to create a State-authorized medical marijuana identification card (MMIC), along with a registry database for verification of qualified patients and their primary caregivers.

Per Health and Safety Code Section 11362.77, a qualified patient or primary caregiver may possess no more than 8 oz. of dried marijuana per qualified patient. In addition, a qualified patient or primary caregiver may also maintain no more than 6 mature or 12 immature marijuana plants.

MANUFACTURING

BANNED

Present Ban on Dispensaries

Los Angeles Municipal Code

22.56.196 – Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

  • A. Purpose. This Section is established:
    • 1. To ban medical marijuana dispensaries in all zones in the County

7.55.250 – Edibles

Medical marijuana may be provided by a dispensary in an edible form, provided that the edibles meet all applicable county requirements, including but not limited to the medical marijuana dispensary obtaining a public eating license pursuant to Chapter 7.72 of this code. In addition, any beverage or edible produced, provided, or sold at the facility which contains marijuana shall be so identified, as part of the packaging, with a prominent and clearly legible warning advising that the product contains marijuana and that it is to be consumed only with a physician’s recommendation.

(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

RETAIL

APPROVED

Los Angeles Municipal Code

Chapter 7.55 – MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES

7.55.020 – License required.
A. Except as provided in B, below, every medical marijuana dispensary shall have a license provided for in Part 2 of this chapter. No person shall own or operate any medical marijuana dispensary at any location until a license has been procured pursuant to Part 2 of this chapter, and payment of an annual fee has been made therefore in accordance with section 7.14.010, under the appropriate heading.
B. Every existing owner of a medical marijuana dispensary shall comply with the licensing requirements of A, above, within 12 months of the effective date of this ordinance.
C. Every person employed as a manager of a medical marijuana dispensary shall first procure a
license provided for in this chapter and pay an annual license fee in the amount set forth in
section 7.14.010, under the appropriate heading.
(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

Part 2- Licensing Procedures 

7.55.040 – Licensing—Hearing on application required.

The business license commission shall hold a public hearing on every application for a license required by section 7.55.020 A or B and shall give notice of such hearing as required by sections 7.10.100, 7.10.110,
7.10.120 and 7.10.130.
(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

7.55.050 – Prerequisites to issuance of license.

A. A license shall not be granted or issued pursuant to this article unless the application has obtained a conditional use permit, if one is required, by Title 22 of the code.

B. Each application form shall include a warning and disclaimer that shall include the following:

  1. A warning that dispensary operators, managers and their employees may be subject to prosecution under federal law; and
  2. A disclaimer that the county will not accept any legal responsibility or liability in connection with any approval of any license application and/or subsequent operation of any dispensary.

(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

7.55.060 – License nontransferable.
Any license issued pursuant to this article shall be valid only for the medical marijuana dispensary which is the subject of the license and is not transferable to any other owner or location.
(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

7.55.070 – License—Requirements for posting.
Any license issued pursuant to this article must be posted and exhibited at all times in an area that is visible to the public and clients of any medical marijuana dispensary.
(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

Article 2 – Medical Marijuana Dispensary Managers

 7.55.080 – Manager’s license—Information required on application.
In addition to the requirements of section 7.06.020, an applicant for licensing as a manager of a medical
marijuana dispensary shall also show:

A. All residential addresses for the five (5) years immediately preceding the date of application;

B. The name and address of the medical marijuana dispensary where the applicant intends to be
employed and written proof of an offer of such employment;

C. Written statements of reference from at least three persons who have known the applicant for
at least one year;

D. Written proof that the applicant is over the age of 18 years;

E. Applicant’s height, weight and color of eyes and hair;

F. Two portrait photographs at least two inches by two inches taken within 60 days of the date of
the application;

G. Business, occupation or employment history of the applicant for the five (5) years immediately
preceding the date of the application;

H. The license history of the applicant, including but not limited to whether the applicant has had a
license for any business or similar activity by this or any other county, by any city, or by the state
revoked or suspended, and, if so, the reason or reasons therefor, and the business activity or
occupation subsequent to such action or suspension or revocation;

I. All convictions, except for minor traffic violations, and the reasons therefor;

J. Such other identification and information determined necessary to discover the truth of the
matters hereinabove specified as required to be set forth in the application; and

K. Each application form shall include a warning and disclaimer that shall include the following:

  1. A warning that dispensary operators, managers and their employees may be subject
    to prosecution under federal law; and
  2. A disclaimer that the county will not accept any legal responsibility or liability in
    connection with any approval of any license application and/or subsequent
    operation of any dispensary.

Each applicant acknowledges that the sheriff has the right to take fingerprints and additional
photographs of the applicant and to confirm the height or weight of the applicant.
(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

7.55.090 – License nontransferable.
Any license issued pursuant to this article shall be valid only for use by the manager at the medical
marijuana dispensary which is identi􀃒ed as the employer of the applicant and is not transferable to any
other manager or for use at any other medical marijuana dispensary.
(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

7.55.100 – License—Requirements for posting.
Any license issued pursuant to this article must be posted and exhibited at all times in an area that is visible to the public and clients of any medical marijuana dispensary.
(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

Article 3 – LIABILITY INSURANCE REQUIRED

7.55.110 – Liability insurance—Requirements for medical marijuana dispensary license.

A. No license shall be issued or renewed under article 1 of this part unless the licensee carries and maintains in full force and effect a policy of insurance which meets or exceeds the requirements of this section, in a form approved by the County of Los Angeles and executed by a licensed insurance broker or agent. The policy of insurance shall insure the license against liability for damage to property and for injury to or death of any person as a result of activities conducted or occurring at the medical marijuana dispensary. The minimum liability limits shall not be less than $1,000,000 for each incident of damage to property or incident of injury to or death of a person, with a general aggregate limit of not less than $2,000,000. The policy shall name the County of Los Angeles as an additional insured.

B. The policy of insurance shall contain an endorsement providing that said policy shall not be canceled until notice in writing has been given to the office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector at least 30 days prior to the time the cancellation becomes effective.

C. If at any time the licensee’s policy of insurance expires or is canceled, the license issued or
renewed pursuant to Article 1 of this part will automatically be suspended, or revoked, pursuant
to sections 7.08.240 and 7.08.250 of this code.
(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

Article 4 – LICENSE REVOCATION

7.55.120 – License—Permitted revocation.
The business license commission may revoke any license issued pursuant to this chapter upon a finding,
based on a preponderance of the evidence, under the provisions of this title, that the licensee has violated
any provision of Title 7 of the Los Angeles County Code.
(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

7.55.130 – License—Mandatory revocation.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code, the commission shall revoke any license issued pursuant to this article upon finding, based upon a preponderance of the evidence, that the licensee has violated any provision of Title 7 of the Los Angeles County Code on two separate occasions within a 12 month period.
(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

7.55.140 – Restrictions on licensing after revocation.
Whenever a license has been revoked pursuant to section 7.55.120 or 7.55.130, the former licensee,
whether a person, partnership or corporation, shall not be eligible to apply for a new license for a period of one year from the effective date of such revocation. No application for a license provided for under Article 1 of this part shall be accepted or processed for any business that has had such a license revoked pursuant to this article within the preceding one-year period.
(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

Part 3 – OPERATION REQUIREMENTS

7.55.160 – Operation requirements generally.

Every establishment for which this chapter requires a license shall be maintained and operated in
conformity with each and every provision of this chapter.
(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

7.55.170 – Medical marijuana dispensary activity permitted only at medical marijuana dispensary establishment

No establishment shall conduct any medical marijuana dispensary activity at any location requiring a license under this chapter unless such license has been issued and is valid.

(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

7.55.180 – Hours of operation.
No establishment required to be licensed under this chapter shall be operated or any medical marijuana
dispensary activity conducted therein outside of the hours specified in any conditional use permit issued
pursuant to Title 22.
(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

7.55.190 – Signs required.

A. A recognizable and readable sign which clearly identifies the medical marijuana dispensary shall
be posted at the main entrance of any medical marijuana dispensary licensed under this chapter. Such sign shall comply with all other requirements of the Los Angeles County Code and any issued conditional use permit.

B. A recognizable and readable sign shall be posted indoors in a conspicuous location with the
following warnings:

  1. That the diversion of marijuana for non-medical purposes is a violation of state law;
  2. That the use of medical marijuana may impair a person’s ability to drive a motor
    vehicle or operate machinery; and
  3. That loitering on and around the dispensary site is prohibited by California Penal
    Code section 647(e).

(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

7.55.200 – Alcohol prohibited.

Provision, sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages on the grounds of the medical marijuana dispensary, both interior and exterior, shall be prohibited. A person shall not enter, be or remain in any part of a medical marijuana dispensary licensed under this chapter while in the possession of, consuming or using any alcoholic beverage. The licensee, manager and/or every supervising employee shall not permit any such person to enter or remain on the premises.

(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

7.55.210 – Minors.
It shall be unlawful for any dispensary to provide medical marijuana to any person under the age of 18
unless that person is a qualified patient or is a primary caregiver with a valid identification card in
accordance with California State Health and Safety Code sections 11362.7.
(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

7.55.220 – Manager required on premises.

Each medical marijuana dispensary licensed pursuant to this chapter shall, at all times that such dispensary is open, have present and on the premises a manager, as defined in section 7.55.010. The manager must be familiar with the requirements of this chapter and be capable of communicating the provisions of this chapter to employees and others conducting activities at the medical marijuana dispensary and to all actual or prospective clients of and visitors to the dispensary. The manager shall make an effort to immediately identify himself or herself to the sheriff or any other county official entering the medical marijuana establishment on official business. In the owner’s absence, the manager shall be authorized to accept on behalf of the owner or any other person licensed pursuant to this chapter any notice issued to such owner or other licensed person pursuant to this chapter or to Title 7.

(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

7.55.230 – Interfering with enforcement activities prohibited.
No person shall refuse, resist or attempt to resist the entrance of the sheriff or other county official into a
medical marijuana dispensary in performance of official duty or shall refuse to obey any lawful order of the sheriff or other county official made in the performance of his or her duties under the code.
(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

7.55.240 – Graffiti removal.
The owner of the property where the medical marijuana dispensary is located and/or the operator of the
medical marijuana dispensary shall remove graffiti from the premises within 24 hours of its occurrence.
(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

7.55.260 – On-site consumption.
Medical marijuana may be consumed on site only as follows:
A. The smoking of medical marijuana shall be allowed provided that appropriate seating, restrooms, drinking water, air purification systems, and patient supervision are provided in a room or enclosure separate from the main room and entrance to the dispensary; and
B. Consumption of edibles by ingestion shall only be allowed subject to all applicable county requirements.
(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

7.55.270 – Devices for inhalation.
Medical marijuana dispensaries may provide specific devices, contrivances, instruments, or paraphernalia necessary for inhaling medical marijuana, including but not limited to rolling papers and related tools, pipes, water pipes, and vaporizers. The equipment may only be provided to qualified patients or primary caregivers in accordance with California Health and Safety Code section 11364.5.
(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

7.55.280 – Cultivation and cuttings

Marijuana shall not be grown at or on the site of any medical marijuana dispensary, except that cuttings of the marijuana plant may be kept or maintained on-site for distribution to qualified patients and primary caregivers as follows:

  • A. The cuttings shall not be utilized by the medical marijuana dispensary as a source for the provision of marijuana for consumption on-site.
  • B. For the purposes of this section, the term “cutting” shall mean a rootless piece cut from a marijuana plant, which is no more than six
    inches in length, and which can be used to grow another plant at a different location. (Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)”

 7.55.300 – Security.
Medical marijuana dispensaries shall provide security as follows:

A. An adequate and operable security system that includes security cameras and alarms to the
satisfaction of the Director of Regional Planning; and

B. At least one licensed security guard present at the dispensary at all times during business hours.
All security guards must be licensed by the proper authorities and must possess a valid Security
Guard identification card issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs at all times.

(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

7.55.310 – Compliance with other requirements.
Medical marijuana dispensaries shall comply with all applicable provisions of California state law and with all applicable county requirements.
(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)
7.55.320 – Release of the County from liability.
The applicant(s) and licensee(s) under this chapter shall agree to forgo seeing to hold the county, and any of its officers, employees, or assigns, liable for any injuries or damages that result from any arrest or
prosecution of medical marijuana dispensary owners, operators, managers, employees or clients for
violation of local, state or federal laws.
(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)
7.55.330 – County indemnification.
The owner(s), operator(s), and/or manager(s) of the medical marijuana dispensaries shall indemnify and
hold harmless the county and its agents, officers, elected officials, and employees for any claims, damages, or injuries brought by any adjacent or nearby property owners or other third parties due to the operations of the dispensary and for any claims brought by any of their clients for problems, injuries, damages or liabilities of any kind that may arise out of the distribution and/or on- or off-site use of marijuana provided at the dispensary.

(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

7.55.340 – Liability for operation.
The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed to protect dispensary owners, operators, and
employees, or their clients from prosecution pursuant to any laws that may prohibit the cultivation, sale,
use, or possession of controlled substances. Moreover, cultivation, sale, possession, distribution, and use of marijuana remain violations of federal law as of the date of the ordinance creating this chapter and this chapter is not intended to, nor does it, protect any of the above described persons from arrest or prosecution under those federal laws. Owners, operators and licensees must assume any and all risk and
any and all liability that may arise or result under state and federal criminal laws from operation of a
medical marijuana dispensary. Further, to the fullest extent permitted by law, any actions taken under the provisions of this section by any public officer or employee of the County of Los Angeles or the County of Los Angeles itself, shall not become a personal liability of such person or liability of the county.

(Ord. 2006-0036 § 3 (part), 2006.)

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