The road after legalization for recreational use of cannabis in California has not been paved with gold. Strangling excise taxes, license uncertainty, vape crisis…
When California decided that dispensaries could remain open as an essential business there was, no doubt, a collective sigh of relief in the already fragile industry. With the stay at home order in mid-March there was an initial spike of sales, and there have been bumps since but overall sales are down. Reduced hours undoubtedly have had an impact. But the industry is surviving.
Even though Gov. Gavin Newsom declared marijuana an essential business, the State has been deferring to local governments to determine the restrictions needed to enforce social distancing. Meaning, some localities have made sales permissible curbside only or via delivery, which, if a dispensary does not have a relationship with an entity that has a license to deliver, or possess their own, it could take months to be approved.
In counties where the “delivery only” order has come down, like Santa Clara, the industry has been able to rally and get reversal. The Bureau of Cannabis Control is currently backing the new rules local governments are putting out but that brings uncertainty, in a time of great uncertainty, to a industry that was already filled with uncertainty.