July 1 marked a huge shift for cannabis businesses in California, as certain regulations embedded in Proposition 64 became law. Although businesses knew the change was coming, it marked a major change in the supply chain for marijuana throughout the state. No longer was the focus solely on growers and dispensaries. These new regulations have shed light in a whole new way on the importance of testing labs.
According to an article from Leafly, the history of testing labs in the state has come a long way, evolving from van-based operations to highly sophisticated units protecting Californians from contaminants, pesticides, and helping measure strength and makeup of different strains and products. Until now, labs haven’t really been able to fully get off the ground. Like any production cycle, added steps are generally avoided wherever possible in order to cut down on costs. As such, not all cannabis products in California went through the lab-testing stage until laws absolutely mandated it, especially those produced by small businesses. Now labs are overwhelmed with work. Though lab workers did what they could to prepare for this day, it’s still difficult to operate a business at full capacity on profits that are not yet coming in, making it necessary to go from skeleton crew to all hands on deck in a matter of weeks.The new laws are pretty straightforward, as our Los Angeles marijuana regulations lawyers can explain. Essentially, there are standards Californians wanted to make sure their cannabis products met. These include the following:
- All cannabis goods must be tested. Retailers cannot send products on their shelves back for testing. Untested cannabis goods must be destroyed or sent back to the licensee, who then has the option to have the products tested and sent back to market.
- Cannabis goods must be packaged before arriving at the retail location. That packaging must meet all new standards. Retailers cannot package or re-package cannabis goods.
- The only packaging changes retailers can make is they are allowed to place a “For medical use only” sticker on products sold to qualifying medical marijuana patients if the package is not already marked as such.
- Packaging must be child resistant upon arrival at the retailer. Retailers can no longer place products in child-resistant containers upon purchase to fulfill state law.
- Edibles must have 10 mg of THC or less per serving, and cannot exceed 100 mg of THC in a single package. Non-edibles must contain 1,000 mg or less of THC per package for recreational use. For medical use, non-edibles can contain up to 2,000 mg of THC per package.
Many products were already on the market, however, because of the state’s medical marijuana laws. Growers, distributors, and dispensaries had already been functioning a certain way for years. Therefore a grace period was put in place after the launch of recreational marijuana legalization at the beginning of the year to allow marijuana businesses to establish a process by which to get their products in compliance, and also to clear out all product that did not meet new guidelines.
These new laws can be overwhelming for businesses who have settled into their ways of operating. That’s why our marijuana business lawyers offer our years of experience and knowledge of the law to help get your business in compliance. We are able to assist businesses all along the cannabis production cycle, helping establish testing labs and packaging companies that are in such high demand right now while ensuring they meet the state’s high standards.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients, defendants, workers and those facing criminal marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.
Transition Period Requirements, Bureau of Cannabis Control, California
More Blog Entries:
Budding Industry for Labs Testing Marijuana, Dec. 27, 2013, Cannabis Law Group