The marijuana industry is growing throughout California, including San Luis Obispo County where many consumers are enjoying the services of cannabis delivery service- many of which do not actually have licenses to operate as legal weed delivery.
While the state of California may have legalized the use and sale of recreational marijuana at the beginning of 2018, local region rules and regulations dictate just how the marijuana industry – including the sale, usage, production, and related legal weed delivery services- is to be regulated in each area.
San Luis has an abundance of companies that are profiting and supplying services for marijuana consumers in the San Luis area, especially delivering medicinal marijuana to medical marijuana patients. Only a few of these hundreds of delivery service, however, have obtained the required state licensing to be a legal weed delivery.
Before a cannabis product regulated by the state can be sold, it needs to undergo many checkpoints to ensure quality and safety, these include (but are not limited to); the date the plant material was harvested, the product’s batch number, and other critical checks.
In an interview with KSBY, Ernest Hall said that the fact that he is able to provide consumers with quality and tested cannabis products and a cannabis delivery service that makes him proud.
There are only two licensed delivery dispensaries in the County of SLO, and Hall is the owner of one of these two- Dub’s Green Garden. Dub’s Green Garden is also the only such service with a license in the Paso Robles area.
Hall said, “You are ensured that your product has been tested for all contaminants and molds, you are getting a really safe product. But if you are getting your product from off the street, you just have to trust the person that is selling you stuff and that is the difference.”
In addition to the licensed Marijuana dispensary delivery business, Hall is also the owner of a CBD dispensary located in the downtown area of Paso Robles. Hall went on to say that many of the public that frequent his dispensary enquire about medicinal marijuana.
Due to the fact that Hall is one of the only licensed dispensaries in the area, he says that customers complain that his prices are higher than the competition. He explains that his higher prices are because he is compliant with the law and that the licensing fees initially almost put him out of business, but after surviving the licensing process he now has to deal with the exorbitant taxes imposed on cannabis businesses. He says that because he is a law-abiding cannabis delivery service and business owner, he is suffering.
“We get people sometimes saying that our products are priced too high but they don’t understand that we are paying taxes and that’s why they are going to the black market and they are getting products that are not as safe as they are as you get from the regulated market,” Hall said.
In the SLO County, there are only three cannabis businesses that have state licenses; the first being one that is a medicinal dispensary only offering cannabis delivery service while the other two are recreational dispensaries- of which only one offers delivery.
However, this does not reflect the reality of just how many pot shops are available for residents to get cannabis from; just a quick search on Weed Maps shows that there are literally hundreds of dispensaries and cannabis businesses in the area.
There have been recent reports in the news saying that Weed Maps have been under fire for advertising and displaying unlicensed dispensaries.
KSBY News reported that the Paso Robles Police Commander, Caleb Davis, did not realize that there were so many dispensaries listed in the area.
Davis said, “There are a lot more businesses listed on there than there are legally listed. I’m not sure the credibility of the website as well, so I’m not overly familiar with that website, but it certainly would be a good tool for us to figure that out.”
There are many regulations and requirements that a retailer must abide by before receiving the official state license, one of them being that the storefront dispensary or cannabis business must be at least six hundred feet away from any school.
Additionally, they have regulations permitting to environmental factors as well. These regulations and restrictions are involved from the transportation of the product to the storage and right down to the eventually waste disposal as well.
It goes without saying that to obtain a state license is difficult and costly. This January, businesses will have to step up to the plate as new regulations are set to come into effect. Those businesses that have been operating without the proper licensing will have to ensure that, come January, they have their taxes and accountants in order.
That, however, could prove to be a process most businesses are unable to afford.
Owner of Euphoric Dreams, Mike Perea, has said that, realistically, the process is far too long and expensive. While Perea has a provisional license for his business, he still needs the approval for the proper state license. If, however, he is unable to find the right office space that will comply with state licensing regulations, and therefore be able to attain the state license, he will have to close down his business.
In a quote to the KSBY, Perea said, “Trying to get offices, trying to get spaces to grow, trying to get anything. I mean, the prices are really, really high in this area.”
Many business owners are concerned that the licensing process is too slow, and are urging officials to improve efficiency for the process- otherwise, many business owners like Perea could lose risk losing everything come December.