California cannabis consumers will soon face a rude awakening as the July 1 deadline on testing requirements swiftly approaches. First, prices could drop substantially, but soon after, dispensaries could face shortages of tested cannabis.
“The transition period in the licensing authorities’ regulations allowing exceptions from specific regulatory provisions ends on June 30, 2018,” a reminder from the Bureau of Cannabis Control reads. “Beginning July 1, 2018, cannabis goods must meet all statutory and regulatory requirements. Cannabis goods that do not meet all statutory and regulatory requirements must be destroyed in accordance with the rules pertaining to destruction.
Alex Traverso, spokesman for the state’s cannabis bureau, said that businesses have be provided with a “sufficient” amount of time to prepare for the testing requirement deadline. The Bureau of Cannabis Control has licensed only 28 labs statewide, and some of them aren’t open yet.
Beginning July 1, businesses must abide by the following rules to stay compliant:
- Untested cannabis products cannot be sold by a retailer and must be destroyed. Retailers are not allowed to send cannabis goods to a distributor for testing.
- Any untested cannabis products manufactured or harvested before Jan. 1 2018, in possession of a distributor that are owned by the distributor must be destroyed.
- Untested cannabis goods manufactured or harvested before Jan. 1 2018, in the possession of a distributor owned by a manufacturer or cultivator may be returned to the licensee who owns the cannabis goods. If a cultivator or manufacturer decides to sell the returned cannabis products, it must be sent to a distributor for testing and must meet all of the testing requirements.
Consumers can expect a bottleneck effect as the bulk of untested cannabis products need to get pushed out before July 1. It’s unclear to what degree the requirements will be enforced, but state funds to beef up enforcement on illegal cannabis have been cut.