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Cannabis, LAX Access Top GCLA Los Angeles Agenda

Martin Romjue
Posted on May 7, 2019
GCLA members and guests enjoyed an outdoor garden-style networking event and meeting on Thursday, April 25, 2019 at the Calmere Estate Winery in Napa. (photos: Mo Garkani/GCLA)

GCLA members and guests enjoyed an outdoor garden-style networking event and meeting on Thursday, April 25, 2019 at the Calmere Estate Winery in Napa. (photos: Mo Garkani/GCLA)

LOS ANGELES — The Greater California Livery Association’s agenda for its May 14 meeting has all the right buzzwords to get attention: Cannabis, LAX, and employees versus independent contractors.

One of the highlights of the event, scheduled 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at The Proud Bird in Los Angeles, will be a legislative update from board director and former president, Mark Stewart, who serves as the chairman of its legislative/airport committee.

LAX Curbsides

Among the biggest questions facing Southern California operators is what type of access operators will be given for arriving passengers as LAX embarks this month on a major four-year renovation and upgrade of the central terminal area. The construction zones will eventually remove 37% of curbside accesses in the CTA until the project is finished, as members were told at the March 6 meeting by an airport public relations official.

Representatives from the GCLA and a related industry trade group, Advocates For Fairness in Transportation, have been meeting with LAX officials in recent months to work toward a plan that protects direct terminal access for TCP-licensed luxury ground transportation. Curbside pick-ups and drop-offs are essential to the high-service level of chauffeured transportation, which carries many first- and business-class-paying passengers to and from LAX.

GCLA President Mo Garkani and Northern California event host and board director Thomas Buck, President and CEO, Beau Wine Tours of Napa and Sonoma.

GCLA President Mo Garkani and Northern California event host and board director Thomas Buck, President and CEO, Beau Wine Tours of Napa and Sonoma.

Cannabis Barriers

The state’s party bus industry may be getting a tough new law that requires the driver of any vehicle where cannabis is being smoked or vaped to be sealed off in a separate, ventilated compartment.

Cannabis would be illegal aboard any vehicle without such a compartment.

A minibus or limousine with a standard panel divider between the front driver section and rear passenger compartment would not qualify under the proposed laws since smoke can easily permeate the retractable slide.

The compartments also share the same vehicle engine ventilation system, which could not separate cannabis smoke.

“Most of the industry doesn’t do party buses,” Stewart said, and those operations that do typically ban all types of smoking and vaping and only allow alcohol consumption. The bill mostly affects those operations that run cannabis tours in the wake of wider legalization of the drug. If the law passes, operators hosting such tours would need vehicles manufactured with separate compartments and ventilation systems, since retrofits are costly and impractical, Stewart said.

 The GCLA supports the bill, SB625, since it gives legal, licensed luxury operators another tool to enforce laws and maintain a safe passenger environment, he said. Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, is sponsoring the bill.

Employees Versus Independent Contactors

Stewart also plans to update members on the status of AB5, which would codify a major state Supreme Court ruling that favoring the status of employees. The landmark case, Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles, placed more burdens on businesses and entities to establish they have properly classified workers as independent contractors.

LCT background article: GCLA 2019 Legislative Agenda

The bill would codify into law the requirements to pay unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, sick leave, and wages, among other labor-related rules followed by employers in the state.

Among other meeting presentations:

  • Keynote speaker Andi Gray, president of Strategy Leaders, will advise members on how to maximize the profit and potential in their businesses. She will help operators how to overcome their biggest challenges in a market shrinking due to consolidations, retirements, and TNC competition. Gray last spoke to the GCLA at its spring meeting on May 14, 2013 at the Hotel Maya in Long Beach.
  • LCT Publisher Sara Eastwood-Richardson will update plans for the magazine and its events as it anticipates the formal end of its trade show partnership and management contract with the National Limousine Association on June 3.
  • A representative from Volvo will detail the Volvo S90 sedan livery program. An S90 will be on display during the meeting.

GCLA REGISTRATION HERE

NorCal Meeting Brings Out Crowd

Next week’s Southern California GCLA event aims to keep the momentum from the April 25 Northern California meeting at the Calmere Estate Winery in Napa.

The event drew 108 attendees, signed up 10 new members, and hosted two $5,000 sponsors. President Mo Garkani reported the gathering had 50% more attendees than the last Northern California meeting in San Francisco.

A third regional GCLA meeting will be held for San Diego-area operators on Thursday, June 13, 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Phil's BBQ in San Diego. Details coming.

Following the Spring meetings, the next GCLA events include:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 10: Southern California Operator meeting, The Proud Bird, Los Angeles.
  • Thursday, Oct. 17: Northern California Operator meeting, TBD.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 3: GCLA Annual Meeting & Holiday Party, 7 p.m. to 12 a.m., TBD.

Related Topics: airports, building your clientele, business growth, business strategies, California operators, cannabis, drugs, GCLA, Greater California Livery Association, industry education, keynote speakers, LAX, legislation, limo associations, limo buses, Los Angeles operators, Mark Stewart, networking, party buses, regulatory enforcement, Sara Eastwood-Richardson, Volvo S90

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