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Summer Recess

E-228 - Sunday, July 21, 2019

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  • Cannabis 
  • CA25 (Santa Clarita-Palmdale)
  • LA-LA Land
  • Cakeday  

ON SUNDAY TEEVEE: If you have DirectTV or AT&T U-verse and missed Face the Nation this morning, House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) gave his usual cool-ended Sunday brunch perspective.

Happy Sunday! Just a few items caught my eye this morning...

CANNABIS: For Politico, Natalie Fertig describes how illicit cannabis sales are only on the increase in the world of legal sales.

"Though each state has its own issues, the problems have similar outlines: underfunded law enforcement officers and slow-moving regulators are having trouble building a legal regime fast enough to contain a high-demand product that already has a large existing criminal network to supply it. And at the national level, advocates also point to another, even bigger structural issue: problems are inevitable in a nation where legalization is so piecemeal.


Like many cannabis advocates, Hoffman says the illicit market in Massachusetts likely won’t die completely until cannabis is fully legalized federally, and access to things like bankingfor basic needs such as loans and deposits—is easier for startup businesses. The barriers to entry, he says, are still high and discourage even those who have had approved licenses from opening up shop.

In California, where the statewide regulatory apparatus is legendarily hard to navigate, those barriers to entry are only magnified.

California is so big, the problem is the opportunity,” says Kyle Kazan, CEO of California Cannabis Enterprises, which operates dispensaries in Los Angeles, Santa Ana and will soon open a third in Santa Barbara."

Meanwhile, in the Los Angeles Times, Robin Abcarian writes that the social equity program in the City of Los Angeles's cannabis code to encourage diversity among licensed cannabis storefronts is slow to get off the ground. Abcarian writes:

"It’s been more than two years since the Los Angeles City Council passed its first ordinances regulating the newly legal cannabis business, and still, no social equity licenses have been granted.


As glossy dispensaries like MedMen and Dosist have sprouted on chic streets like Venice Beach’s Abbot Kinney Boulevard, people of color in the Crenshaw district and other struggling neighborhoods are spending thousands of dollars in rent for empty storefronts and warehouses they thought would be humming enterprises by now."

CA25 (Santa Clarita-Palmdale): In the LA Daily News, Kevin Modesti looks at the first debate among Republicans hoping to challenge congresswoman Katie Hill (D) next November.

MUNI MATTERS and CAKEDAY after the jump...

Probolsky Research

LA-LA LAND: A staff member of Los Angeles councilman Jose Huizar is on leave after allegedly making video recordings without consent of visitors to the employee's office, report David Zahniser and James Queally in the Times. They write:

LAPT Capt. Gisselle "Espinoza would not say what was recorded or name the staffer, saying no arrests have been made. Huizar issued a statement saying that one of his aides has been “suspended and placed on administrative leave” pending the outcome of the investigation.

“We were shocked and angered to learn of any illegal video taping at our field office,” the statement said. “Law enforcement was immediately notified and we fully support their investigation.”

. . .

"The inquiry comes at a turbulent time for Huizar and his staff. In November, FBI agents raided Huizar’s offices and his home in Boyle Heights, hauling out boxes of materials, including one labeled “fundraising.”

Real estate developers doing business in Huizar’s district, which stretches from downtown to Eagle Rock, have received subpoenas instructing them to turn over information on fundraising and communications with the councilman and his employees."

#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Nick Birtcil and Toni Zupan!


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