As Los Angeles unfurls its long list of rules and regulations, as part of its effort to establish order in the state’s legal weed industry, input has been effusive and pencil pushing endless.
Home to four million people, L.A, is set to be a blockbuster market, but city voters want their say in how the operation is going to be set up.
One thing folks don’t want is for anyone to set anything on fire. After all, California is only just now recovering from a long period of drought, and they hate the smell of smoke.
That being the case, City Hall’s proposal to outlaw “volatile cannabis manufacturing” may seem logical to some, but it’s not going down too well among dabbers, not to mention practical matters like millions in lost revenue.
A ban on volatile cannabis manufacturing, the most common method used for creating weed concentrates, such as dabs, wax and THC oils, could curtail revenues in L.A. and force lucrative weed businesses to set up shop outside the city’s boundaries.
Rhory Gould of the Arborside dispensary in Ann Arbor said, “Concentrated cannabis can generate up to 40 percent of our sales in the form of wax, oil, hashish, kief, e-pens and edibles made with concentrates,” High Times previously reported.
Some observers put that number even higher. According to LA Weekly, concentrates compose as much as 60 percent of the MMJ market in Southern California.
Concentrates are also the active ingredient in another fast-growing market: edibles. And, in California, the edibles market is booming.
“They’re a growing part of the market. But if Los Angeles ends up being one of the only cities to go in this direction, this will put it at a competitive disadvantage,” said Chris Walsh, of Marijuana Business Daily.
That’s for sure. Arcview Market Research estimated that California customers munched on about $180 million worth of edibles last year alone, and they’re still hungry for more.
But, reports of amateurs blowing up homes and hotel rooms while using flammable butane to make extracts have L.A. officials spooked.
“One or two headlines can scare a lawmaker into being overly restrictive,” said Walsh.
Experts agree that professional laboratories producing concentrates for California dispensaries are much safer than the amateur operations that end up in the news.
“It’s perfectly safe when there’s a trained operator using high-quality materials,” said David Sparer, CEO of Bay Area–based Refined Hydrocarbon Solutions, per the LA Weekly.
“We’re talking to the City Council about what is safe use. If the City Council doesn’t allow this to happen in a highly regulated environment, the good players will go to outlying cities, and the tax revenue will go with them,” continued Sparer. “And it will still be sold in L.A. Those bad players left will continue to blow things up.”
As yet, the rules aren’t set in stone, so there’s still time for reasonable lobbying.
“The good news is that they’re not banning concentrates outright,” Walsh said.