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LAPD, City Of LA Vow To Crackdown On Illegal Pot Shops

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — There is a cannabis crackdown in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Police Department put illegal pot shops on notice Wednesday with police and the city vowing to enforce the laws.

Police arrested two people and detained seven more in what LAPD Chief Michel Moore and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called the beginning of the war on illegal pot shops in the city of Los Angeles, specifically South L.A.

"We've closed 36 illegal dispensaries in this last period. We've sent out 231 letters to cease-and-desist," said L.A. City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson.

The city has also budgeted $3.5 million for the sole purpose of shutting down every single illegal pot shop in the city using the forces of the police, fire department, and DWP.

"Our target is the landowner. It's the landlord that is unlawfully allowing that space to be used for this nuisance activity," said Moore.

According to the city, when marijuana became legal to sell in the state of California, Los Angeles had 120 licensed dealers ready to go that are now currently operating.

They also say they are more than 270 illegal shops that they are now going after.

"Since the beginning of this year, the Los Angeles Police Department has conducted 161 search warrants. At those 161 locations, we seized nearly $900,000 in currency, we seized ten tons of cannabis, and we've recovered 79 firearms," Moore said.

At one location, police say they found at least a half a dozen firearms as they made their arrests, and said this type of operation is going to become almost a daily occurrence.

The city estimates that they've lost at least $80 million in tax revenue because of these illegal pot shops.

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