What the Heck is the “California Marijuanapocalypse”?

State regulation is forcing California dispensaries to destroy product that isn’t up to code, to the tune of $350 million in losses.

Marijuanapocalypse / Image: Rick Thompson
Marijuanapocalypse / Image: Rick Thompson

When California legalized recreational marijuana at beginning of 2018, cultivators and distributors were given a six-month grace period to sell product that wasn’t up to code. A recent Wired article noted the purging of unsold product as of July 1, something industry insiders are referring to as the “California Marijuanapocalypse of 2018.”

Dispensaries are forced to destroy all noncompliant concentrates, edibles, and flowers that weren’t sold as of the last day of June, which could amount to $350 million in losses. The responsibility for purging the product falls on the dispensaries, not the state, and businesses are getting creative. San Francisco’s Apothecarium is composting noncompliant flowers and pre-rolls, while noncompliant concentrate cartridges will be smashed with hammers before their trip to the landfill. Cheech and Chong tearfully declined to comment.

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