New Pot Regulations Force California Retailers To Unload Millions In Stock

By Victoria Kim 07/05/18

After July 1st, cannabis retailers in the state are no longer allowed to sell untested cannabis goods.  

cannabis behind the counter in a dispensary

New regulations for California’s legal cannabis industry went into effect on Sunday, July 1. The new rules require that all cannabis products sold in California be tested for chemicals, pesticides and foreign materials.

In addition, all cannabis products must be in child-proof packaging. Edibles may not exceed 10 mg of THC per serving or 100 mg per package. And non-edibles may not exceed 1,000 mg of THC per package for the adult-use market, or 2,000 mg per package for the medical-use market.

“These regulations are very necessary for consumer protections, environmental protection and public safety protections, so they are good and we support them,” said Kimberly Cargile, executive director of A Therapeutic Alternative medical cannabis dispensary in Sacramento.

“However," she added, “it’s more difficult to operate within a regulated market and more difficult than we anticipated.”

The July 1st deadline meant that all “untested cannabis goods [can no longer] be sold by a retailer and must be destroyed,” according to the state Bureau of Cannabis Control—leaving some retailers left to wonder if their businesses could survive the “weed apocalypse.”

Some business owners estimated huge losses for California’s legal cannabis industry—about $90 million of product lost, according to a survey by the United Cannabis Business Association.

The association organized 128 cannabis businesses and advocacy groups to petition Governor Jerry Brown on Friday to “indefinitely extend” the period for selling untested cannabis products.

The group argued for the extension saying that without it, the new regulations will “financially cripple the majority of retailers,” by forcing them to “destroy everything in their inventory and repurchase new products.”

They also argue that there are not enough testing facilities approved by the state to handle the demand and volume of cannabis products that need to be tested.

However, the state maintains that retailers were given enough time to comply with the regulations.

“We issued our emergency regulations back in November, and at that time, we were pretty clear about the fact that there would be a six-month transition period for retailers to use up their existing supply,” said a spokesperson for the Bureau of Cannabis Control. “We felt that was a sufficient amount of time to deplete stock on hand and adapt to California’s new rules.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr