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Here's A Map Of Every Pot Dispensary In L.A.

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Navigating L.A.'s spread of pot dispensaries can be a confusing ordeal. What complicated matters was the passing of Proposition D in 2013, which effectively capped the number of pot shops at 135 in Los Angeles. What's weird, then, is the estimate that about 1,700 marijuana dispensaries are operating in the city— obviously, some of these shops are operating outside the legal parameters set by Prop D (even though Prop D will soon be dropped; more on this later).

As noted at LA Weekly, many dispensaries were able to obtain a business tax registration certificate (BTRC), even though City Council had stipulated in 2016 that BTRCs should only be given to shops granted "limited legal immunity" under Prop D. Often, the certificates are presented by business owners as being permits, even though they're not, according to LA Weekly. It's uncertain how these shops were able to obtain those certificates, but after the recent implementation of new requirements, only 139 shops have been able to obtain a BTRC so far in 2017, reports Los Angeles Daily News (this is compared to the 756 that were issued in 2016).

The City Controller's office has released a map of the many dispensaries in Los Angeles, denoting the ones that are currently Prop D compliant (as marked with blue pin), the ones that held a BTRC in 2016 but aren't necessarily Prop D approved today (purple), and the ones that the City Attorney's office has filed criminal charges against (green). As City Controller Ron Galperin said in a June 7 letter to the L.A. City Council, the map was released not only to help Angelenos in separating the legally-recognized dispensaries from the others, but also to denote the expansiveness of the marijuana industry.

This latter purpose is motivated by the passing of Proposition 64 in 2016, which legalized the use of recreational marijuana in California, as well as the passing of Measure M in 2017 in Los Angeles, which paves way for the City Council to issue permits to pot dispensaries, and sets up a gross receipts tax of 10% on recreation sales, among other things. The measure, which goes into effect on January 1, 2018, would effectively kill Prop D— and this opens the field up for shops wanting to become legitimate. As City Controller Ron Galperin said in a June 7 letter to the City Council, "economists with marijuana industry experience estimate that first-year retail sales in the City of Los Angeles for both medical marijuana and newly legalized recreational marijuana will likely approach $700 million."

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It adds that, "Transitioning an illegal industry into a legal one presents significant challenges for local government, including many factors beyond revenues — such as where to allow lawful marijuana businesses to locate, how to regulate their hours and how to police what remains of the illegal portion of the industry."

Galperin, in the letter, recommends that the city set up "regulation of delivery services," help the shops gain access to federally regulated banks, and require customers to sign waivers that allow regulators to do background checks, among other things.

Here's the map below. Though, if you're viewing this on a phone, the embedded window can be pretty wonky. You can find the map here instead.