Pot smokers are not happy in states where marijuana is now legal. What a surprise! You would think that all would be kittens and sunshine. However, while they were dreaming of an easy and legal passing of the bong, Uncle Sam was salivating with dollar signs in his eyes, and conjuring up complicated bureaucracy for the new marijuana industry.
OregonLive reports on just how the government is twisting the knickers of pot growers with crippling regulation:
Within months of Oregon’s full recreational marijuana market coming online, the industry has come to a standstill with low supplies and big price jumps for consumers.
Don Morse, owner of the Human Collective in Southeast Portland, and other retailers, growers and processors blame Oregon’s strict pesticide rules for the problem.
The regulations – the first mandatory pre-emptive testing in the country for marijuana – went into effect Oct. 1. But the state has so far licensed only a handful of laboratories to do the tests on thousands of products, including flowers, edibles, concentrates, oils and extracts.
And the tests are expensive – in some cases more than six times what companies used to pay, they report. Then they must wait weeks to get their products back and find out if they passed or failed.
Morse has laid off five budtenders since last month. He’s down to about 10 percent of the concentrate inventory he had before October. He can’t find anyone to sell him enough marijuana to fully restock.
That’s happening in most of the more than 400 marijuana dispensaries around the state.
And it’s almost laughable that the very people who were advocating to go through the law to legalize are now being choked by the government. Why couldn’t they see the bigger picture?
For Morse, the gridlock is ironic because he pushed for the rules. He helped convince growers and processors that reasonable pesticide limits and testing regulations would be better for them and consumers. But now the fledgling businesses are in jeopardy, he said.
MerryJane laments the massive and long arm of the government reigning in the pot industry.
... the demands of a rapidly changing recreational cannabis industry have many of the space’s pioneering producers wrestling with the threat of being pushed out of the ring entirely.
… Part of the new requirements to become a licensed recreational cannabis business means a transition from being regulated not only by Oregon’s Health Administration and the Oregon Department of Agriculture but now over to Oregon’s state liquor board, the OLCC or Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which also oversees all alcohol sales among stores, restaurants, distributors, and bars in the state. This means new packaging, testing, and licensing requirements as well as new building and land-use permits.
… “Regulators have created a system that elevates the labs to all-powerful gatekeepers controlling what enters the market,” says Dan Stoops, founder of the popular cannabis-infused caramel company Danodan Grassworks. “Imagine if Oregon’s breweries or wineries were required to have every single batch verified by a third-party. Imagine each batch of IPA or Pinot, etc. is held out of the market for weeks until the lab verifies alcohol levels. That’s what they’ve created for cannabis.”
What were they thinking? Did the legalization proponents really think the government wouldn’t get its take?