The City of West Hollywood is “poised to lead the way in setting new trends as the world’s cannabis culture capital,” says a recent press release from City Hall. But for a city that has more alcohol sales establishments per capita than any other in California, increasing the number of stoners could have consequences.
For that reason, the City of West Hollywood and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department are both trying to get the word out about how to consume cannabis legally.
The city’s “Weed Like You To Know” campaign launched Saturday and includes printed and digital materials, such as informational postcards in dispensaries and neighborhood-serving businesses, as well as social media messaging and electronic advertising.
“The aim is to remind consumers that using cannabis in public and at bars and restaurants isn’t permitted; consumption is only permitted at appropriate locations,” says the city’s announcement of the campaign. ‘Weed Like You To Know’ informational cards note the following:
— “Cannabis Consumption: Cannabis consumption includes smoking, vaping, and eating edibles;
— “Cannabis and Alcohol: By state law, bars and restaurants that serve alcohol cannot also allow cannabis consumption;
— “Smoking Patios: Business patios that allow smoking can only allow tobacco consumption; and
— “Cannabis Edibles and Smoking: In public, edibles and items can only be consumed/smoked in cannabis consumption lounges, which are anticipated to open in West Hollywood in late 2019.
The Sheriff’s Department’s warning is quite similar, but it also notes that it is illegal “to consume cannabis or possess an open container of it while driving or riding as a passenger in any motor vehicle, boat or airplane …
“Driving under the influence of cannabis is a crime punishable in the same way as driving under the influence of alcohol … Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspensions and other expenses that can exceed $10,000 not to mention the embarrassment when friends and family find out.”
And it includes a reminder that people under the age of 21 “may not possess, use, transport, or cultivate non-medical marijuana. Minors under the age of 18 are subject to drug counseling or community service.”
Property owners can ban the possession or use of cannabis on their property subject to normal tenant law for renters. Employers may prohibit the use of marijuana by their employees. Commercial marijuana cultivation, manufacturing or sales operations requires a license from the State Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation.
West Hollywood has issued temporary use permits to four existing medical-use cannabis dispensaries, which authorize recreational cannabis sales at their current locations on a temporary basis through the end of 2019. None of those businesses qualified for one of the eight recreational cannabis licenses that the city granted qfter a complicated application and evaluation process last year.
More information about cannabis in West Hollywood can be found online.