The chief regular for California’s cannabis has stated that the golden state should receive praise for the positive initial sales of retail and recreational Cannabis. California’s chief regulator, Lori Ajax, assessed California’s performance since the start of the retail cannabis sales. Lori Ajax also admitted the there could be problems to come if not correctly addressed now.
The assessment comes as California begins its second month with legal sale of recreational marijuana. Lori Ajax is the head of California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control. Lori Ajax addressed a crowd of several hundred at the internal marijuana business conference.
Ajax congratulated her team that put in extra hours before the dawn of the first legal cannabis sales, before the start of the New Year. Lori Ajax and her team of employees had to work hard to ensure all was in place before January 1st. this includes dispensary licences (both online cannabis dispensaries and regular store marijuana dispensaries). Ajax went on to say that her team was ready for an onslaught of complaints for prospective applicants on the start of the New Year however she was surprised at how few complaints were lodged.
Since the opening day for applicants to apply for licences, the bureau has issued approximately two and a half thousand temporary ones. These temporary licences cover a range of legal services; pot delivery services, online cannabis dispensaries, actual shop sales of weed, and many other recreational marijuana related services. There are currently three agencies, from the state, that issue these licences. California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control is one of these three. The other two are the Department of Food and Agriculture and the Department of Public Health.
A word of warning was issued by Ajax; she said that even though online cannabis dispensaries, pot delivery services and retail marijuana stores are selling cannabis throughout the state; the structure for licensing and legal sale of recreational marijuana is still being thoroughly worked out.
Ajax warned that because of the lack of efficiency and testing the supply chain for marijuana could run dry.
She suggests that by pre-empting the potential issues in the new regulations stockists could avoid the issue of running out of supply. Many licensed sellers have already acquired a large stock in the last few months of 2017. Ajax is concerned about what could happen should that stock be depleted.
Between February 2nd and February 5th alone 214 licences for the sale of recreational marijuana were issued by the bureau. However, the regulations of those particular licences stated that only transactions could only occur amongst other licencened marijuana distributors, harvesters or businesses.
The main concern in the newly regulated structure is the distribution of cannabis and cannabis products. These products are only allowed to be sent from agriculturists to the licenced sellers and retailers through legal and licenced marijuana distributors. The challenge lies in the fact that there are currently less than 150 distributors that have a licence. Ajax warns that this low amount of distributors cannot reach the demanded need of cannabis.
By the middle of this year, 2018, cannabis will have to under strict testing for unlawful chemicals before it can be retailed. The challenge that this brings is that there are currently only 21 of these facilities available for testing.
Ajax went on to say that these challenges come as no surprise. She said that the bureau was well aware of the fact that there would be speed bumps in the initial stages of the newly regulated cannabis system.
Even though California as a state has made recreational marijuana and the sale of recreational marijuana legal, cities and counties within the state are free to prohibit the retail sale of recreational marijuana. This means that there are still areas within the state that are holding back on jumping on the regulated legal market. This is one of the reasons that there are not that many testing companies or distributors.
November 2016 brought California the now famous Proposition 64; heralding the legal retail sale of recreational marijuana. The Proposition allowed the governments of local cities and counties to decide for themselves whether or not they wished to join the new system.
Ajax rounded off her statements with a solution to the issues she had found. Ajax and her bureau are committed to licensing businesses swiftly and as efficiently as possible, with the chief aim for California to be the leader in the regulated Cannabis industry.