As California braces for the impact of relaxed marijuana laws that allow recreational use for adults, several small, financially strapped cities in southeast Los Angeles and elsewhere are at the forefront of efforts to seize business opportunities — despite pushback from some residents.
In Los Angeles County, cities like Maywood are approving marijuana licenses in anticipation of boosting local economies, creating jobs and filling commercial lots. Huntington Park has issued three permits, and Lynwood is negotiating development agreements with 13 applicants for marijuana businesses.
Elsewhere, the desert town of Adelanto has tried to sell itself as a place for growers.
But Maywood may also be a preview of the challenges for cities small and large of negotiating the contours of a controversial industry without full support from the community. The city has a long history of mismanagement and questionable financial dealings.
Now, many residents and former city officials complain that they’ve had little input in drafting a marijuana ordinance that has undergone several revisions and amendments. They accuse city leaders of failing to address major questions about the costs and benefits of allowing commercial marijuana activities.