Audit Finds No Wrongdoing in L.A.’s Cannabis Licensing Process

Los Angeles Administrative Officer Richard Llewellyn has recommended that the city resume its cannabis licensing process after an audit found no evidence of favoritism.

Los Angeles suspended the granting of new commercial licenses amid revelations that some applicants were able to gain early access to the system. A third-party audit was conducted at the behest of Mayor Eric Garcetti.

In its report, the auditors concluded that the process was “confusing and prone to human error,” but that there was no intentional bias and that officials’ subsequent actions were “reasonable and appropriate.” The report stunned some applicants who logged into the system at the advertised time and walked away without a license.

“Every training, video, informational bulletin precisely indicated a 10 a.m. start time!” said Life Development Group founder Kika Keith, as quoted by the Los Angeles Times. Yet some applicants were able to get into the system before 10 a.m. That gave them a distinct advantage in the race for limited licenses.

Keith called on the courts to intervene. Even if it wasn’t intentional, there is no doubt that the process was unfair, said Adam Spiker of the Southern California Coalition.

L.A.’s Department of Cannabis Regulation has said it’s working on ways to improve the system and “establish a more equitable path forward.”

Read more about the findings and the reactions here