Last week, the City of Los Angeles finally began accepting business license applications for cannabis cultivators, manufacturers, and testing labs. The move is long overdue as other large California cities like San Diego and Oakland issued licenses months ago.
Delay Led to Product Shortage
Not only has this been a problem for cannabis growers but retailers have been experiencing a product shortage since they are only allowed to purchase product from licensed producers.
The Department of Cannabis Regulation opened their web portal to cultivators and manufacturers as of August 1st and will hopefully begin issuing licenses in the days to come. Unfortunately many of the existing growers have been barely scraping by in order to hold on to their valuable commercial space.
Phase 2 Cannabis Licensing
This month phase 2 of the licensing process commenced however only cannabis cultivators, manufacturers, and testing labs that were operational before January 1st, 2016 will be considered. All applicants must submit their documentation within 30 days and present evidence to prove they were operational before 2016.
Many Los Angeles based cannabis retailers have been forced to establish new supply lines from Central and Northern California growers since they have already acquired a license. The end of the transitional exemption period led to a marijuanapocalypse that resulted in the destruction of millions of dollars of cannabis product that didn’t meet regulation standards. This really crippled retailers who were unprepared for the switch and are now desperately seeking product outside of L.A.
Testing Cannabis for Retail
Now the question posed by cultivators, manufacturers, and testing labs is when will the business licenses actually be issued. Last month, Executive Director, Cat Packer, stated that Los Angeles didn’t want to commit to a timeline because the rules and regulations continue to change as the new system is refined.
Once cannabis cultivators receive their licenses they’ll be able to grow, test, and supply local retailers with product. Hopefully supply will soon catch up with demand and prices for consumers will regulate. Smart cultivators will invest and research and development testing before sending to a licensed testing facility to ensure that their products don’t contain any pesticides, impurities, or high moisture levels.