Mike Behnken

California Dispensaries Struggle to Find Compliant Products

California’s new testing regulations took effect July 1 and dispensaries across the state are fighting against the weight of new restrictions. According to a Desert Sun report, many are struggling to get anything on their shelves at all and no dispensary has enough product to fill their shelves.

“I’m getting pictures every day of retailers that went from 45 strains to 5.” — Jerred Kiloh, President of the United Cannabis Business Association, via The Desert Sun

California‘s new testing requirements and dosage limits have changed the playing field for adult-use cannabis in the state. All cannabis grown and harvested before 2018 has been sold or trashed at this point. Retailers now must wait for cannabis that meets the state’s new standards, which include tests for 66 pesticides, 20 solvents, four heavy metals and three microbes, as well as cannabinoid profiles.

Cannabis testing labs anticipated the rush of business following the July 1 deadline, but are still far behind on testing. The state has essentially made the labs not only a center for testing but also for enforcement, due to their role in verifying label claims. One lab, Infinite Chemical Analysis in San Diego, reports many calls from scared growers, trying to figure out if they passed the testing process and are able to distribute to dispensaries desperate for stock.

“Lots of people are scrambling. They’re calling me every ten minutes saying, ‘Where’s my sample? Where’s my sample?’” — Josh Swider, co-owner of Infinite Chemical Analysis Labs, in the report

Industry observers wonder about the effectiveness of increasing restrictions placed on cannabis. Tom Adams, the Managing Director of BDS Analytics, urged the state to relax.

“This is not heroin, you know? To respond to cannabis’s misguided inclusion in Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act for the past 50 years by over-regulating and over-taxing it is an enormous mistake if the goal is to legalize a largely illicit business.” — Tom Adams of BDS Analytics, via The Desert Sun

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