WILL CALIFORNIA HAVE A DRY SPELL OF CANNABIS?

Will California dispensers have a glut of cheap weed, followed by a possible shortage after July 1

Cannabis consumers soon should be able to shop at licensed stores in California without worrying about whether products on the shelves are laced with pesticides and other contaminants often found in black-market weed.

Customers also will be able to see, on the package, how potent their products are, where they came from, and what other ingredients are used in any cannabis-infused edibles.

But all that will be true once new state-mandated safety standards for marijuana kick in July 1. Until then, consumers can expect to see something of a cannabis roller coaster.

For the next few weeks, retailers will do what they can to move stockpiles of untested product left over from California’s unregulated gray market. What they can’t sell by July 1, in theory, they’ll have to destroy.

And once the old inventory is cleared out, experts say, licensed shops might be looking at a very different problem — a cannabis shortage.

Inventory piled up

Many marijuana shops loaded up on inventory in late 2017, before California has imposed hundreds of pages of new regulations for the cannabis industry.

State regulators gave businesses a six-month grace period to sell off their old stockpiles, as long as the packaging told customers that the product didn’t meet new state standards. But sales this year have been good, but many shops still have lots of unsold inventory, said Josh Drayton, spokesman for the California Cannabis Industry Association.

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