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Home / Business / Anger, frustration marking six month anniversary of recreational marijuana sales in California

Anger, frustration marking six month anniversary of recreational marijuana sales in California



Speech of a buzz.

California celebrates the six-month jubilee of marijuana sales on Saturday, with consumers and the cannabis industry complaining of steep prices, high taxes and the shortage of licensed pot shops. 19659002] And things could get worse.

Although many marijuana companies knew about the deadline for months, they have been slow to send their products to laboratories to see if they meet the quality standards that came into effect in July 1. Industry representatives say that creates a bottleneck that could lead to cannabis shortages, especially in San Diego, where consumer demand is expected to rise during the summer tourist season. Comic-Con alone will attract at least 1

35,000 visitors in mid-July.

The shortage would cause inconvenience to consumers. But "it could be an extinction event for companies whose products are not compliant," said Pamela Epstein, CEO of Green Wise Consulting, a Los Angeles based company serving the cannabis industry.

You may not have enough money to recover.

The situation prompted the United Cannabis Business Association to send a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday requesting that it postpone the start date of the new test and product packaging rules on Sunday.

Speaking on behalf of almost 150 companies, said there were not enough laboratories to handle the tests, the association also said that companies should destroy nearly $ 400 million in existing products, according to the Associated Press

Consumers would also feel the cracking

"Prices will shoot through the roof if there is a shortage. People have already run on a roller coaster ride, seeing prices escalate, then bottoming out, followed by flash sales or taxes they did not expect, "said Epstein.

" I'm optimistic that it'll be better becomes. But there are many problems that need to be solved first. "

The issues have raised many questions, some of which have been covered with government and marijuana industry contributions.

Q: California is one of the world's largest marijuana cultivators, how could it possibly be A: California legalized the sale of medicinal cannabis in 1996. But the industry was very loosely regulated, and the quality of the pot that put it on the market was very different.

Everything changed in late 2016 when California voters outperformed Approved Proposal 64, which allowed individuals to own and grow small amounts of marijuana, and paved the way for the sale of recreational cannabis in licensed stores Required test standards for commercial grass The state is trying to protect consumers from pesticides and solvents. [19659002] The state and the cannabis industry have spent a lot of time discussing the standards. It looked like things were being worked out; The government initially said that the unitary purity and efficacy testing would begin on January 1, 2018.

Then things got bogged down and the date was moved to July 1st.

"We really thought the tests would start in January," said Greg Magdoff, managing director of PharmLabs, a San Diego-based company licensed to do this work.

"We hired drivers all over the country because we were told that we had to pick our own staff up the rehearsals.

" We are being rebooted. It's long nights and weekends. There is a lot of stress.

Q: Is it true that there are not enough laboratories to run the tests?

A: The answer is not clear.

There are 31 laboratories across the country, including three in San Diego The Union-Tribune visited PharmLabs on Friday and found that workers are taking care of a business line.

Some companies have already met the requirements, including OutCo, a cultivator, retailer and retailer near El Cajon.

Ready to go, "said Virginia Falces, Outco's communications director. "But we have to see what the next week will bring."

Q: There are no licensed recreational marijuana stores in many parts of California. Why? The public said yes to the weed when it approved Proposition 64.

A: Proposition 64 also states that counties and cities have the ability to ban the sale of marijuana for recreational purposes, which is also known as a pot for adults. The provision was added to the initiative to make it more palatable to the voters.

The stigma associated with marijuana has faded. But across the country, about 70 percent of communities have said no to leisure sales.

San Diego was a notable exception. There are more than a dozen licensed stores here, and more are expected. But that's the only place in the county where these stores exist.

"Many cities do not want to be the first to step in, they want to see how it works," said Dallin Young, Executive Director of the Association of Cannabis Professionals, a San Diego-based trading group.

Q: Will things probably change?

A: It is possible, if not probable.

In March 2017, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 3: 2 to stop opening new marijuana facilities and they withdrew to phase out existing ones. But that could change in November when voters vote for pro-marijuana candidates. Two seats on the board are on the ballot

At the same time, Chula Vista voters could agree to a plan that would allow local businesses to grow, produce and sell marijuana.

Public acceptance of marijuana has grown rapidly. On June 26, Oklahoma approved the sale of medical marijuana, which makes cannabis legal to varying degrees in more than 30 states. Michigan – home to about 10 million people – will vote on recreational pot in November. (19659002) But there are a lot of frayed nerves in the cannabis industry, in part because US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in January that he would not comply with the Obama administration's decision not to prosecute companies that sell pot in states in which this is legal

Sessions was outvoted by President Trump in April. But the whole affair gave investors a reason to be extra cautious about pumping money into cannabis.

Marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I drug at the state level, which places it in the same category as heroin. This has largely displaced the cannabis industry from the banking system. Banks do not want to upset the government by accepting marijuana money.

There has been much talk of starting a special bank in California to meet the needs of the cannabis industry. But right now it's just that – talk.

Union Tribune reporters Gustavo Solis, David Garrick and Merrie Monteagudo contributed to this story. The Associated Press has also contributed to this report.


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