The California marijuana market has been dubbed as one of the most important contributors of the industry as a whole over the past several years. With a recreational and medicinal market budding throughout the state, new regulations could potentially have a large effect on the whole of the industry in the near future.
The state of California recently saw new safety laws and regulations go into place throughout the marijuana market only six months after the recreational side of the industry was legalized. One of the new regulations within the market states that all cannabis-related products sold in the state have to pass various tests for chemicals, pesticides and foreign materials. Although this may seem standard, this has not been in place until recently. The goal of the new laws are to help give patients and those who use cannabis as a standardized way to consume the plant that is the safest method of all. Kimberly Cargile, the executive director of A Therapeutic Alternative, stated that “These regulations are very necessary for consumer protections, environmental protection, and public safety protections, so they are good and we support them. However, it’s more difficult to operate within a regulated market and more difficult than we anticipated.”
The use of recreational cannabis and the sale thereof has only been legal in the state for a few months now since the beginning of the year. Due to the market being so new, many of the standards that should exist are only going in to place now. One of the effects of this new regulation has been that dispensaries around the state have to sell off all of their product that does not meet the current standard. This has led to many dispensaries around the state offering cannabis at much cheaper prices than usual in an effort to rid themselves of any unsalable product.
Nick Danias, manager of the Pottery cannabis dispensary in Los Angeles, stated recently that “It’s about getting rid of a lot of older product that doesn’t meet city and state requirements and getting through that old inventory and moving on to the next steps after July 1.” Although this has been very good for the consumer side of the industry, many of the dispensaries are fearful that they may not have enough product that meets the standards once they are no longer allowed to sell their older product. Morgan Fox, a spokesman for the National Cannabis Industry Association stated that “it will put some strain on the individual businesses but I think it will be better for the consumer. Initially, there may be some increases in prices on the consumer end but I think that will level out.” As stated prior, the new regulations may be good for the consumer in the beginning, but as we move toward the newer laws, it seems as though the prices could simply go back to normal or even higher given the new standards that could add cost to the product.
Fox continued to state that consumers will “know exactly what they’re consuming.” This is a definite step in the right direction for the industry as the standardization of the product is one of the most important factors for growth regarding the consumer. In order for the cannabis industry to continue to be taken seriously, the product needs to be of a very high standard. The hopes are high that over the next few months, individuals will be able to continue purchasing cannabis as they do and as they did prior to these new laws. Only time will tell what larger effect this has on the cannabis market as a whole.