Industry Insiders Bullish on Future of Legal Marijuana
Article by Avery Bissett editor at LA Weekly
With recreational marijuana officially legal in California as of Monday, the Golden State is in terra incognita. Local dispensaries are scrambling to navigate rapids of red tape as the multibillion-dollar industry transitions to a legal and regulated market.
To help make sense of this unprecedented moment, L.A. Weekly spoke to industry insiders to get their thoughts on the end of pot prohibition.
Now that recreational legalization is upon us, what do you believe is the biggest issue going forward for you and for the industry?
I think the learning curve for some operators will be very steep. The California cannabis market has been unregulated for over 20 years. The implementation of and costs of seed-to-sale tracking, security and especially third-party testing will be a huge hurdle for a lot of existing operators that don’t have experience running their business in a regulated environment.
What is you and your company’s biggest priority going into 2018?
Filling our Canna-Hub cannabis business parks with the most sophisticated and innovative operators from California and other states who are eager to be at the forefront of California’s new industry.
What should residents of Los Angeles expect come Jan. 1?
We believe there will be an undersupply of cannabis initially, as operators get their state and local permitting handled. But when cannabis does make it into dispensaries, consumers will be getting pure, third-party-tested medicine. Third-party testing is crucial because it ensures the safety of the product.
What about legalization most excites you and most concerns you?
Cannabis regulation and legalization in the fifth largest economy in the world means that billions of dollars will be generated into California’s economy. This means hundreds of millions of dollars in permitting fees and other revenue flowing into city and county coffers. The positive impact the industry will have economically and socially in small towns like Williams excites me the most.
I’m most concerned about operators’ access to banking. It will take some time, but I believe the solution will come by the middle of 2018.
Read more responses from industry leaders at laweekly.com.