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New Regulations Mean Empty Shelves at California’s Marijuana Dispensaries

SACRAMENTO -- Some marijuana dispensaries are struggling to serve their customers after state testing regulations kicked in on July 1.

That’s when all cannabis products were required to be tested for pesticides and molds. The lack of testing facilities has caused a shortage.

In addition, new child-proof packaging and other requirements are adding to the unavailability of cannabis products.

Some dispensaries had the foresight to stock up on tested cannabis products before the deadline and can continue to operate. Organically grown cannabis that doesn’t contain pesticides is in high demand by distributors.

There are dispensaries that have empty shelves and have had to turn away customers and lay off staff.

Some industry observers fear that customers will turn to the black market for their cannabis goods, depriving licensed operators of business and reducing the state of tax revenues.

The supply is slowly growing as tested cannabis products make their way through the supply chain. But with fewer than 20 labs in the state equipped to perform the required tests, some dispensaries may not be fully stocked with preferred medical and recreational marijuana for customers until January or later.