LOS ANGELES – Nearly 150 marijuana companies in California warned on Friday that they could suffer crippling financial losses if the state does not renew a July 1 deadline and sets stringent standards for pot trials and packaging.
In a letter to Governor Jerry Brown, The United Cannabis Business Association said the changes would further unsettle the looming legal market, which started on Jan. 1, and force companies to close their doors.
The trade group representing cannabis companies said there are not enough laboratories to run the tests. and retailers would have to destroy huge quantities of unsold cannabis that did not meet the new standards.
Association President Jerred Kiloh estimated that companies could suffer losses of nearly $ 400 million if these unsold deliveries were destroyed.
"The industry pushes in line with … will continue to paralyze the already weakened regulated market," it said in the letter.
In a statement that sta The Bureau of Cannabis Control gave no indication to postpone the deadline.
"We issued our emergency regulations as early as November, and at that time we were pretty sure there would be a six-month transitional period for retailers to use up their existing offerings. to reduce the existing stock levels and to adapt to the new Californian rules, "Agency spokesman Alex Traverso said in an e-mail.
Legislation required six months after the extensive legalization of marijuana This pot sold after Saturday meets strict quality standards. With the approaching date, retailers have sold unchecked inventory at bargain prices.
The rollout of the country's largest legal pot market was bumpy at best. The black market is still flourishing and the industry is complaining about taxes, which can reach 50 percent in some areas.
Others fear that a shortage of both adult and medical marijuana retailers could bring the supply chain to a standstill
California is subject to temporary regulations, while the largest city, Los Angeles, is slow to issue licenses.
The change of rules was part of the state's decision to get the industry up and running at the beginning of the year. The shops were given six months to burn cannabis and edible food that was produced without stringent testing requirements.
Any marijuana that is harvested this year or offered for sale on July 1
The illustrated letter is an emerging industry struggling to gain a foothold.
The group said the 30 licensed laboratories testing the pot would be unable to meet demand, resulting in a shortage of shelves. A system to track plants from seed to sale has been delayed. And the packaging companies are not ready to comply with the new rules.
"Customers and patients will turn to illegal market traders and delivery services who will still have plenty of products to sell, and licensed retailers will be forced to close the store," the letter said.
The companies and interest groups that signed the letter represent a fraction of the state's legal market. For example, more than 3,300 cultivation licenses have been granted and there are more than 400 licensed retailers.
Associated Press author Brian Melley contributed to this report.