Statewide licensing for pot shops won’t apply to the SCV

Medical marijuana. Katharine Lotze/Signal
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While California is now taking licensing applications for pot shops to start operating on Jan. 1, this won’t affect the Santa Clarita Valley or Los Angeles County.

Both the city of Santa Clarita and L.A. County have put bans on any marijuana businesses opening up, so there will not be any storefronts coming to incorporated or unincorporated parts of the SCV at the beginning of next year.

“There’s different rules in every city and every unincorporated area,” Tony Bell, Communications Deputy for Supervisor Kathryn Barger said. “It is a challenge with a lot of moving parts to figure out the best way to regulate this industry.”

While Proposition 64 legalized the use of recreational marijuana in the November 2016 election, it left the power to local jurisdictions to decide if they wanted shops in their area.

In addition to the effect on recreation use and retail, the bill impacts manufacturing, production and transportation as well, Bell said.

In June, the county passed an ordinance to ban the shops in unincorporated areas and the city currently has a moratorium against the shops and plans to pass an ordinance next year.

In the city of Santa Clarita, voters favored legalizing recreational use 45,464 to 41,094 in last year’s election.

Those in the 5th Supervisorial District of Los Angeles County voted 405,602 to 337,761 in favor of legalizing pot and Los Angeles County voters as a whole voted 1,980,546 to 1,345,826 to legalize marijuana.

Similarly, people in the 25th Congressional district voted 114,980 to 100,207 and people in the 38th State Assembly district voted 77,194 to 68,686 in favor.

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