Since new state regulations went into effect on July 1, California cannabis dispensaries are prohibited from selling cannabis that doesn’t meet new standards for labeling, safety packaging and chemical testing or that exceeds new THC limits.
Cannabis packaging must have child- proofing, while product testing looks for levels of unwanted pesticides in the plant and labeling standards ensure consumers know what they’re getting.
Businesses hurried to sell tens of thousands of dollars worth of inventory by the end of June, but, after the fire sales, many cannabis companies were facing a burning question: What to do with the leftovers?
Strict regulations shape how legal cannabis businesses in California grow, process and sell cannabis–and how they destroy it, too. But waste disposal can be the last thing on a business owner’s mind.
“They’re either stockpiling it and storing it somewhere until they can figure out what to do with it,” says Laura Turner, who owns a cannabis waste disposal company in Santa Ysabel, “or they’re packing it up and driving it to another business’ dumpsters.”
According to a calculation by the United Cannabis Business Association, California cannabis companies are poised to lose an estimated $367 million, either by destroying products or discounting them steeply before July 1.
Cannabis legalization may be just a few months away in Canada, but First Nations in Chilliwack aren’t waiting. A second cannabis dispensary on a local reserve opened its doors July 11, with a third storefront on the way.
Indigenous Bloom opened its doors to customers on the Kwaw-Kwaw-Apilt reserve on July 5 while workers were still on site putting the finishing touches on the medical cannabis dispensary. Kwaw-Kwaw-Apilt Chief Betty Henry said her community is fully behind the venture.
“It is our intention that the operation of a cannabis business must be under the domain of our people,” she said in a statement.
So where does the cannabis for sale at Indigenous Bloom’s shop come from? Nearby Shxwhá:y Village announced its “intended operation” of a licensed producer (LP) cannabis growing facility through Health Canada, in addition to the groundbreaking of its dispensary storefront.
“Our tribe has set goals to achieve economic self-sufficiency and to become fully functioning partners in the social and economic welfare of this great country we know as Canada,” Shxwhá:y Village Chief Robert Goldstone says. “We are striving to build a better future for our people and this economic initiative will help us to achieve that.”