California sought to jump-start its marijuana industry in January by giving businesses temporary, 120-day permits that briefly waived big fees and other costly requirements, but that grace period is ending and many say the expense and red tape of getting a regular license is a headache.
Some pot shops face fees of $73,000 before they can get a regular annual license from the state Bureau of Cannabis Control. Costly upgrades to security and product testing also kick in soon, and sellers and growers will have to pass a background check that could disqualify anyone with serious criminal records.
Although the grace period technically ends Tuesday for those who received temporary licenses Jan. 1, the state bureau is allowing businesses that apply for annual licenses to continue operating with 90-day extensions while their applications are being processed.
“It’s all a bit of a hardship right now,” said Nicole Neubert, a San Francisco attorney who represents state-licensed cannabis businesses. “All of these costs of becoming regulated are hard for these businesses to incur, especially at a time when the market is so strange.”
By: Patrick McGreevy, LA Times