Cannabis Distributors Struggle to Keep Up With Demand

Some cannabis retailers across the state are struggling to keep product on their shelves after new state regulations kicked in July 1.

Posted: Jul. 11, 2018 6:56 PM

After new state regulations kicked in at the beginning of this month, some cannabis retailers across the state are struggling to keep product on their shelves.

Those new regulations require manufacturers to perform stringent testing on cannabis products before they can even hit store shelves.

But with a limited number of labs in the state equipped to perform those tests, it could be awhile before dispensaries are fully stocked again.

And distributors are scrambling to meet demand after regulations kicked in July 1.

“But what I understand, a lot of the clubs are you know bare pickins,” Leave it to Nature owner Stacy Hanes said.

Those new regulations call for manufacturers to test for 86 different kinds of chemicals and pesticides, 4 heavy metals and 3 kinds of microbes as well as stricter packaging requirements.

But there’s only a few labs licensed labs equipped to perform those kinds of tests which has caused a sizeable backlog.

“The distributors are seeing some chokepoints develop at the labs and then chokepoints developing again at the packaging and labeling,” 530 Cannabis owner Jamie Garzot said.

At 530 Cannabis, garzot says they’re feeling the effects of that backlog.

“So we’ve definitely had some challenges maintaining our standard variety levels,” Garzot said. “That’s been challenging. So for example typically we stock about 20 different edibles. Right now we have seven on our shelves.”

Hanes says her store was an early adopter of the state’s new standards, but even she had issues stocking her shelves after July 1.

But she’s now starting to stock up once again.

“I’ve probably got 15 to 20 strains on my shelf,” Hanes said. “And I’ve got some edible back, and I’ve got all my select cartridges are in, capsules. And slowly but surely, I’m getting it back up there.”

Garzot says the upside of all the new regulation is that consumers will receive a safer, better-quality product.

She says they’re generally aren’t thrilled about shortages caused by testing and pre-packaging requirements, but she asks that folks be patient while the supply chain catches up.

“But while customers might be used to a certain brand, and we may not have that brand, it is an opportunity to discover your new favorite, a new favorite that you haven’t yet discovered,” she said.

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