Los Angeles prosecutors have filed misdemeanor charges against 515 people in a clampdown on 105 illegal marijuana businesses in the city – a move that could benefit legal MJ companies by helping to eliminate black-market rivals.
The businesses targeted include retail shops, delivery services and cultivation operations, of which nearly two dozen have closed since enforcement began in May, City Attorney Mike Feuer told reporters Friday, according to Los Angeles TV station KTLA.
Los Angeles prosecutors say the city attorney’s office will continue to target the hundreds of unlicensed businesses that remain.
The attempt to stamp out illegal MJ operators in L.A. is the latest in a string of enforcement actions throughout the state. Among them:
- An Orange County resident was arrested for “unlawfully operating a marijuana dispensary” in Costa Mesa.
- A delivery company was closed after an investigation by the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigations’ Cannabis Enforcement Unit.
- A summerlong effort to clamp down on illegal cannabis cultivators led to 95 unlicensed growing sites.
In Los Angeles, Police Chief Michel Moore said hundreds of illegal businesses remain, but the charges serve as a warning to others that the city will take action.
Moore said city prosecutors will use civil action to seize properties used in illegal marijuana businesses, KTLA reported.
“The Los Angeles Police Department will continue to assign resources, dedicate personnel to take enforcement action – criminal action – against unlicensed retailers, manufactures, cultivators who have not followed the rules,” Moore said, according to the TV station.
“We know there are still hundreds of these locations out there, and we will continue to identify and take action.”
Associated Press contributed to this report.