APTOS (KPIX) — Many California marijuana dispensaries seeing their profits are going up in smoke. Their shelves are sitting empty ever since a new labeling law took effect Sunday.
“This is what you’re going to see in most places,” says Clinton Gartman, retail manager of Santa Cruz Naturals, pointing to an empty shelf. “The shelves aren’t as stocked.”
He gestures to the stock he does have.
“These are the only ones we have up to state compliance and there’s a three to four week wait to get inventory back up to normal,” he says. “All these products need to go through complete state testing packaging requirements.”
Gartman says his store lost as much as $10,000 in profits when they threw out all the cannabis products no longer state compliant as of July 1.
In fact, the Associated Press estimated the entire industry would lose nearly $400 million because of unsold product.
“I’m sure there are some dispensaries that have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars,” says Gartman.
As of Sunday retailers must sell cannabis products in childproof containers or bags and all products, must go through stricter lab-testing.
Gartman says the labs can’t keep up with the demand.
“There’s five or six labs in the state of California,” he says. “All products are going through those it’s just a big traffic jam right now essentially.”
He says they thought California would give dispensaries more time to comply with the law.
“And then all of a sudden — oh, you got thirty days — let’s go.”
Now it’s about telling customers to be patient, their plant products are on the way.
“[It’s] incredibly difficult. We get people who come in here weekly looking for products that they’re used to,” says Gartman. “They need these for pain whether it’s medical reasons or adult use reasons.”