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New licensed pot shops sprout in Boyle Heights, El Sereno & Silver Lake

By BARRY LANK

The number of places legally selling marijuana for recreational use across Los Angeles has jumped 50% in approximately the last four months. The Eastside also added more licensed pot businesses, but they still remain relatively few and amount to a small share of the city-wide number.

The list of shops and businesses licensed by the City Department of Cannabis Regulation has grown to 155 as of early July.  On the Eastside (not including unincorporated East L.A.), 10 shops and businesses had been issued licenses. That’s up from six licensed locations in February.

New Eastside marijuana licensed businesses include MOTA, which occupies the former Sunset Junction home of Circus of Books. The highly visible storefront on Sunset Boulevard near Santa Monica Boulevard went from a porn stop to a medical weed dispensary in 2016. It now sells cannabis for all purposes, including a wide selection of vaping supplies. Further east along Sunset is California Caregivers Alliance, which the L.A. Weekly  describes as one the oldest dispensaries in Los Angeles.

Newcomers  also now include Green Aid Recovery Group on Valley Boulevard on  the eastern edge of El Sereno near Cal State L.A. and two new players on the southern edge of Boyle Heights, Toluca Lake Collective and the Gourmet Green Room.

While the number of legal marijuana businesses has grown,  authorities have cracked down on unlicensed shops.

At the end of May, City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office filed 37 criminal cases against 149 defendants from 33 shops across the city, including Highland Park and El Sereno. Boyle Heights Beat also mentioned two shops that were shut down in Boyle Heights by the LAPD at around that time.

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