California marijuana business licenses expiring faster than new ones are issued

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The Golden State isn’t able to properly manage the cannabis industry

Thousands of temporary cannabis business licenses in California are going to expire soon and this is a major issue. Many of these will not be able to be renewed, as The Golden State has yet to finish to process the annual or provisional licenses that would be issued in place of the temporary ones. While this will most likely be addressed by lawmakers in the state, it is still a growing concern and a problem that didn’t need to take place.

Senate Bill 67 has been introduced in an effort to offer a “band-aid” fix of the licensing problem. It would extend the expiration date of the temporary license, but still doesn’t help the state resolve the underlying issue of how to keep up with the licensing process. Even if the bill is accepted, it could still be the end of May before it is turned into law.

So far this year, 249 cultivation licenses expired in January and February. A staggering amount – 5,500 – are to expire in March and April. In those two months, 800 manufacturing licenses will expire, as well. Fortunately, no distributor or retail licenses are set to expire before May, but the state could be left without a viable supply, at least in the short term.

That lack of supply could lead to something many fear – higher prices. California is already dealing with a large marijuana black market due to high fees and taxes and the drawn-out licensing process, and the state has not generated the tax revenue it had anticipated as a result. If the license issue isn’t resolved quickly, it could be another black eye on the legal cannabis market, driving even more to find their purchases on the illegal shelves.

California should have seen this coming – it created the Bureau of Cannabis Control, among other reasons, with this in mind. It should have been able to anticipate this issue and take the necessary precautions to ensure that the legal marijuana market didn’t experience any disruptions. As it stands now, the state and the state’s cannabis industry could soon suffer a serious setback.