California Faces Potential Legal Marijuana Shortage

How long will the pre-2018 dispensary stockpiles last

California is the number one cannabis producer in North America — producing far more cannabis than it consumes. So some people might be shocked that the biggest problem facing its emerging legal adult-use system is on the supply side. Attorney Marc Wasserman, half of the Los Angeles-based law firm Pot Brothers at Law, is not one of those people; he said that most industry insiders could see this problem coming for at least a year.

“It was the beginning of 2017 when [state regulators] said, ‘Yeah, we’ll be done with these regulations by November,’ and most of us laughed and said they were crazy — and they were,” he said. “Same with LA: Permit applications were supposed to come out in October, then before Christmas, then on Christmas, then the first of the year, then it was Wednesday and then it was only open to pre-ICOs [the 135 medical marijuana dispensaries operating in Los Angeles with city approval].”

Los Angeles created a legal framework for adult use cannabis sales in early December, but the city has fallen far behind when it comes to getting licenses approved. And while most headlines are focused on the city’s delay in getting its adult use dispensaries up and running, it is worth noting that the City of Los Angeles will only begin licensing indoor growers after they license their pre-ICO dispensaries — which could take awhile.

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