Nearly One Fifth of Cannabis Products Not Meeting State Safety Standards

With fewer products, local retailers are having difficulties keeping store shelves fully stocked.

Posted: Sep. 20, 2018 6:56 PM
Updated: Sep. 21, 2018 9:47 AM

REDDING, Calif. - Numbers released by the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) show that nearly one-fifth of all cannabis products tested in California between July 1 and August 29 are not meeting newly-imposed safety standards.

This is causing a problem for distributors and retailers across the state.

“So regulation began January 1, but we had a major deadline hit July 1st,” said Jamie Garzot, owner of cannabis retailer Synergy. “And that was when everything has to be fully tested, fully compliant, packaged properly. And that's causing some product lines to get kind of hung up at a choke point in the lab.”

According to the BCC, about 1,904 batches out of 10,695 tested in the state did not make it to store shelves.

“20 to 30 percent of the product that's trying to enter the supply chain is being held back or rejected due to not meeting the testing standards,” Garzot said.

The biggest reasons for failure include claims on labeling, and unacceptable levels of pesticides and bacteria.

For Garzot, who just opened up shop less than a month ago, it's been a challenge getting store shelves fully stocked.

“When we opened our door on September 1, we were probably at about 50 percent inventory,” she said. “And right now we're sitting at about 75, 20 days in. So we are increasing, and we're still going to keep increasing until we hit where we want to be ideally.”

And while the transition has been challenging, Garzot says the new regulations are a good thing for customers.

“It is for the betterment of the consumer,” she said. “They should have absolute certainty that everything's tested, that meets requirements and that it's safe and that it's non-child accessible in the packaging.”

It’s all part of the transition to regulated recreational sales.

And while she has seen some improvements in the supply chain, Garzot says the regulations are new for everyone involved, and it's a work in progress.

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