California testing labs expect marijuana ‘bottleneck’ in July

California testing labs expect marijuana ‘bottleneck’ in July

Published on 4/4/18

When recreational marijuana sales officially begin in July for California many are predicting a major problem with getting and keeping product on the shelves and there doesn't seem to be a great way to solve the problem yet. On July 1st recreational cannabis sales begin in California and that means that not only does every dispensary need a recreational license but also that every crop of cannabis must be tested in a lab before being sold to dispensaries. The problem is that the number of labs able to test are far outnumbered by the amount of cannabis that will need to be tested. The labs will be testing cannabis at numerous stages in it's lifespan for potency, pesticides, heavy metals, microbial contamination and more. Officials say about 50 properly running labs would be able to handle the amount of marijuana to be tested, but the state has currently licensed only 26 labs, and all of those 26 labs aren't guaranteed to be up and ready by the time they're needed. With the days and sometimes over a week it takes to test the cannabis there will surely be a bottleneck that leads to a shortage in California. 

Besides the uncertainty about how many of the 26 lab licensees may be operational by July, also in question is how many more labs will be able to obtain permits – or how long it will take them to do so.

For instance, Kaul said Cannalysis has been waiting for Santa Ana officials to sign off on the required local paperwork so the lab can get a temporary state permit.

Without local authorization, facilities can’t legally begin testing.

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