The cannabis industry is a new one that is still in its infancy. California was the first state to enact medical marijuana laws which helped propel an adult-use recreational market. As it is and will be in every state for years, establishing a market is a trial-and-error process, specifically with the legislature. Unfortunately, it’s at the cost of the very businesses that are paying higher taxes than any other industry.
As MJ Biz points out, the changes brought by California’s Department of Cannabis Control will affect practically every aspect of the supply chain. The minor changes will have a significant ripple effect, like tinctures. Section 17302.1 of the amended regulations would limit tinctures to being sold for 2 oz rather than their current 1,000-milligram tincture size — a popular choice among medical patients.
This slight change alone will create chaos from the suppliers to retailers since the tinctures themselves would have to be stronger. Customers are accustomed to how things are now, so there’s a potential risk of overmedicating if the bottles are limited to 2 oz.
Unfortunately, the changes will also have a substantial impact on the packaging. Some businesses have stocked up on tincture packaging to keep up with the demand. If the case it passes, there will be a mass waste of packaging items, which costs money and has an irreversible environmental effect.
The domino effect will undoubtedly have repercussions on the government’s bottom line. Putting production on a temporary pause will hit the employees trying to make ends meet in the current financial climate.
California’s cannabis industry is dwindling due to a string of issues: high taxes, the black market’s dominance, and the evolving regulatory changes. With the new tincture laws in place, it could be detrimental to the cannabis industry at large. The tax generated is the only revenue committed to child care for children, and those figures will be much slimmer with the proposed amendment of section 17302.1.
California policymakers need to consider all aspects before adopting new policies. Gov. Newsom’s already acknowledged the strain on the cannabis industry, which could’ve become the blueprint for a legalized nation. However, the small changes in cannabis regulations are building up to create irreparable damages that will cost people’s livelihoods.