The state of California legalized recreational marijuana officially on January 1st, which caused much celebration in the cannabis community. But less than a month into legalization, and it's already clear that things aren't going 100 percent smoothly.
According to experts, the cannabis industry in California is not producing enough product to keep up with demand. Most of the sales made so far this month were from crops harvested during 2017, and they can only be sold until July when dispensaries must begin selling marijuana planted in 2018. But considering the huge demand due to legalization, many are worried that there aren't enough licensed growers in the state to keep up with demand throughout the year.
“They are going to have to come online with more producers in the next 12 months to keep up with the demand,” said Will Senn, an owner of three California dispensaries.
In fact, some dispensaries are even saying they're struggling to keep stock of some of the more popular strains.
One of the biggest concerns is the lack of small-time growers. While the state seems more than happy to hand out licenses, local governments are either banning marijuana grows or dragging their feet to license cannabis producers. And since local government approval is necessary before state approval, many growers are being shut out, and therefore a potential source for cannabis is also gone.
The state of California says that while it's aware of some of these complaints, they also believe it's too early to tell if this is a huge issue. The legal industry is in its infancy and it will take some time to determine if things are or are not working.
So the next time you head to a dispensary, you may want to stock up. Because who knows if there will be anything available the next time you go.
(h/t The Cannabist)