Navigating new rules for recreational marijuana sales
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — With the sale of recreational marijuana set to begin in January of 2018, cannabis business owners are gearing up for the onset of the California “Green Rush.”
Greg Magdoff is the founder and CEO of PharmLabs in the Sports Arena district.
Last month, anticipating more business, Magdoff moved his cannabis testing lab into a brand new 4,000 square foot space, which is more than five times larger than the lab he ran in a previous Ocean Beach location.
As a condition of sale, the State of California is requiring that cannabis be tested for consumer health and safety. Currently, most dispensaries test only for strength and potency, but as of 2018, cannabis products will have to be tested for pesticides, residual solvents and microbial contaminants that could affect the user’s health.
Magdoff and other business owners note that the City of San Diego and the County have taken different approaches to the regulation of recreational sales. In March, the county Board of Supervisors imposed a ban on new dispensaries, as well as a prohibition on labs, manufacturing and cultivation businesses.
By contrast, the City of San Diego has signaled it’s open to the marijuana industry and became the first city in the state to adopt a basic model for the sale of recreational pot.
However, the city has taken a cautious approach to drafting new regulations. In February, the City Council voted to freeze applications for new dispensaries, labs and other cannabis-related businesses. Next month, council members will consider lifting the temporary freeze, so that the city can begin to issue business tax certificates for new applicants.
In Magdoff’s opinion, stronger regulations will help to drive out black market operators.
“It’s time for everyone to follow the rules. Regulation is here. You can’t hide anymore," Magdoff said creating a solid regulatory framework will be good for local governments. “God, there’s so much revenue involved. I couldn’t imagine that they wouldn’t come to their senses."