Cat Packer is executive director of the City of LA’s Division of Cannabis Regulation. Unofficially, she’s identified as the city’s pot czar or “your higherness,” as she prefers.
In her position because 2017, Packer regulates and enforces cannabis legislation in the country’s largest marketplace, which consists of more than four million people today.
When it comes to the opening of Lowell Cafe in West Hollywood, she says that’s unprecedented.
She confirms that Los Angeles plans to at some point approve and open public locations exactly where people today can legally consume cannabis. “We strategy on bringing on these licenses, but we have to have to have the laws and regulations in spot to do so,” Packer says.
Weed is legal in California, but the unlicensed marketplace is thriving. Packer says the mayor’s workplace has assembled a job force to figure out how to fight illegal cannabis activity. That job force consists of the police and fire departments, the Division of Cannabis Regulation, and the Division of Water and Energy.
Packer adds, “It may possibly no longer be acceptable or even as effective to use criminal enforcement to address these troubles. So one particular of the items the City of Los Angeles is employing, for instance, is disconnecting the utilities at these facilities. And this appears to be a significantly far more productive route to closing these facilities, as opposed to arresting people as we have performed historically.”
Packer also doesn’t want to use the term “black marketplace” due to the fact, as she says, that equates “black” with “criminal.”
“Offered the history that criminal enforcement has had on black and brown communities, we’re attempting to be cognizant and intentional about the vocabulary and language we are employing. And so that is why we use the term unlicensed or unregulated marketplace,” she says.
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