CALL IT THE California Marijuanapocalypse of 2018. As of January 1, recreation cannabis has been legal in the state. A black market still runs underneath it all (Northern California alone supplies perhaps 75 percent of all marijuana across the United States), but cultivators and distributors are going legit, bringing themselves up to the rigorous testing and packaging standards mandated by the state.
This weekend, though, was a weekend of reckoning. For the first six months of the year, the state has allowed dispensaries to sell product that isn’t yet up to new code so manufacturers can adjust to the changes. Any of these noncompliant concentrates or edibles or simple flowers left on store shelves as of July 1 have to be destroyed. By one estimate, that could total $350 million in lost product.
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