Cannabis business owners in California only have few weeks left to accomplish new packaging and testing programs for their products to be able to comply with the state’s regulations.
Businesses that sell cannabis and cannabis-infused products have enjoyed a six-month grace period that allowed them to market their stock which was not in complete compliance with the state’s regulation as long as the label indicates which safety standard the product does not meet.
On July 1, cannabis retailers must clear their shelves of all products that do not meet the state’s regulations, especially in their packages. This deadline resulted in an influx of cannabis sales this month.
This might lead to an impending shortage, according to the Orange County Register, a local news outlet in California.
Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act or simply Proposition 64 was a voter initiative in 2016 that won the legalization of cannabis in California.
It went into effect on January 1 this year. With the law in force, new sets of rules in regard to the sales of the adult use of cannabis were brought up.
Medical cannabis has been sold in California for almost 20 years now and cannabis-infused products were already in production long before then. This is why the state imposed the grace period in which the labeling and production regulations could catch up.
California business owners made the most out of the grace period and sales exploded soon after the adult use of the substance was open for the market.
Shops confessed that they were bulking up on cheaper items that were not in complete compliance before the start of the year. They kept their stores well-stocked in the first half of 2018 for them to maximize their potential sales.
Now, they will have to free their shelves of the surplus that have not been sold.
This will push the owners of these businesses to replace the unsaleable stock with a fresh, well-packaged, and regulation adhering products.
Los Angeles cannabis business lawyers explain that the new policies require changes in several factors in the production of cannabis products.
First and foremost, the products must go through government-approved labs for quality check. These laboratories will then test if the cannabis products are contaminated with any fungus or pesticides as well as ascertain the level of CBD and THC in the products.
The allowed THC limit determined by the state sits at 100 milligrams per package of edibles. On the other hand, the legal THC threshold for non-edibles allowed for the adult-use of the substance is 1,000.
Finally, medical marijuana patients are permitted to have 2,000 milligrams worth of cannabis products. Test centers will have to verify each of these products for them to be qualified to be marketed and sold.
Making this happen might be one of the challenges the state will have to find a solution for as there are only 28 labs that are licensed to conduct the test. Another problem is that many of these test centers are still not open.
But the testing does not only aim to have stricter regulations for dispensaries, this will also resolve an issue commonly complained about by some of the buyers.
A recurring and ongoing complaint to stores regarding the products’ potency is raised from time to time. Customers would often say that they have little way of telling if their purchase is weaker or stronger than what they expect.
Another change required by the new policy states that labels must be very thorough starting July 1.
Labels must include the results of the laboratory tests, the manufacturing date, regulatory symbols, and the warnings, nutritional information, and the ingredients for the cannabis edibles.
In addition to the complete labeling, the packages must be child-proof as well even before they arrive at the retailers.
Business owners need to follow all of these regulations to the letter because the Bureau of Cannabis Control will be conducting surprise visits to check in on their operations and if they are following the new law.
Subscribers of cannabis newsletters, websites, and social feeds are suggested to watch out for deals of 30 to 90 percent on edibles, flowers, and extracts. These price reductions might be peaking by the end of June.
Edward Alfaro, the operations manager for a cannabis retail shop in San Francisco called The Green Cross, said that the blowout this June will be better than any other holidays in the state.
“This would be the best month for anybody trying to save some money and buy any type of cannabis,” Alfaro said.
What happens next for legal cannabis businesses after the July 1 purge is still uncertain. Edibles maker, Kenny Morrison said that some brands might become staples while the well-known brands might become unavailable in the marketplace.
Morrison, who is also the head of California’s Cannabis Manufacturer’s Association, said that businesses are transitioning and finding ways to stay in the business as early as now.