Los Angeles City Councilmember Herb Wesson has proposed setting up a municipal bank to enable the recently legalized state cannabis industry to open accounts and secure loans.
“We cannot bury our heads in the sand on the issue of recreational and medical cannabis legalization, instead we must strive to reasonably regulate the emerging industry while creating opportunities for Angelenos,” Wesson said in the speech on Tuesday to the City Council, following his unanimous re-election as Council President.
When Californians passed Proposition 64 in November, it paved the way for legal recreational use of marijuana throughout the state (beginning in 2018). However, the legal complexities surrounding the sale profits still remain.
“Right now, at the downtown [Los Angeles] office of finance, there’s a six-story parking structure 500 yards away. I have to walk through what is essentially a homeless encampment with a duffel bag full of cash, walk across the street, go through security and then sometimes stand in line,” said Jerred Kiloh, a dispensary owner in the Valley, while speaking on the complexities paying business taxes to the city. “No one comes in with the type of cash they come in with,” Todd Bouey, Los Angeles’ assistant director of finance, said of the marijuana industry. “ It was taking hours to get through one deposit.”