The California cannabis market is big ... but could be bigger
We're now almost two weeks into 2018, and since recreational cannabis went legal on January 1, the market is rolling right along. NBC News says there's 134 licensed stores selling recreational, and across those stores, sales are up big. Some businesses are selling three times the amount of product that they sold under the medicinal regulations only. One company says that in their four dispensaries, they saw sales jump 284% in the first week of legalization -- that's a lot of bud sold!
As big as sales are, however, they could definitely be bigger. Some cities, including Los Angeles itself, are dragging their feet a bit on licensing. The city says they want to get the rules right rather than rushing things through, which is smart, but there are some entrepreneurs with paperwork ready to go that just aren't hearing back from the groups having to license them. And they say they're losing sales to other cities, even while the Cannabis Department is overwhelmed with phone calls and complaints.
Still, while the pace may be slow (some owners are calling it the #LAWay on social media), the regulations will all fall into place eventually -- it is still only the first few weeks. The bigger worry might not be just getting licensed, but what will happen when there's a full complement of dispensaries open. Some dispensary owners predicted last year that high demand might cause shortages in legal dispensaries, and might even grow the black market back up, though that doesn't appear to be a big issue yet. We'll see -- as the year goes on, there will undoubtedly be both more good and bad news out of the market as it matures.