Why L.A.'s recreational weed industry can't go straight

Recreational cannabis became legal in California in January. But unlicensed dispensaries outnumber licensed ones in Los Angeles—and the gap is only growing
Citylab (US)
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Given Los Angeles’ status as one of the largest cannabis markets in the world (and California’s status as a trailblazer for medical cannabis), it should have been prepared when recreational weed was legalized in January. While the city’s smokers may have been ready for the transition, its byzantine and restrictive licensing system was not. As a result, unlicensed dispensaries have been popping up throughout the city at a rapid clip, and now dwarf their licensed counterparts in number. Dispensary owners still complain of an inhospitable regulatory environment—one that they say makes it nearly impossible for most shops to operate legally.