State stalls on tracking cannabis products
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – When California voters legalized recreational marijuana, they were told there would be a system to track and trace every legal marijuana product.
That was back in 2016, but three years later, state regulators still have not put that system into place.
The system that some call “seed to sale” is supposed to help account for taxable products while protecting consumer safety.
Greg Magdoff, who owns PharmLabs, a cannabis testing lab in the Morena District said he doesn’t understand why the State has been so slow to implement the tracking system.
He said first identifying the plant as a seedling, then following it through testing and all the way through the distribution chain guarantees that the product has been tested before it’s sold to the consumer.
Lincoln Fish, the CEO of Outco, a cannabis company near El Cajon said without a tracking system, the State is losing tax revenue.
“Everyone’s saying, why are we not getting the tax revenue we expected? Well, part of it is because we have a lot of material flowing in from the black market and into the legal market as well,” Fish said.
He said crooked operators can also use a number from one batch that has undergone testing and try to attach the same number to hundreds of products that haven’t been tested at all.
In that way, untracked products can find an easier path into the black market. Magdoff said the absence of a tracking protocol allows the black market to continue.
“I think it does allow unscrupulous people to take advantage of the system,” Magdoff said.
In recent weeks, the State of California appears to be inching closer to implementing the “seed to sale” system.Temporary licenses that were issued last year are expiring in June and regulators have reportedly stipulated that anyone applying for a permanent cannabis business license will have to be using the track and trace system.