Cities throughout California are still hammering out details on how to regulate recreational cannabis. Now, if a proposed rule is upheld, L.A. could ban the production of cannabis concentrates and THC oils.
Hashing Out The Details
Voters in California approved the legalization of recreational weed last fall. Since then, it’s been a long process of pinning down all the details for how weed will be regulated. It’s a process that involves a lot of different people and a lot of moving parts.
For example, there are rules and regulations at the state level. But on top of that, local governments at the county and city level also have the freedom to set up certain rules. And currently, under a proposed rule, L.A. could ban the production of cannabis concentrates and THC oils.
The city is considering a rule that would ban “volatile cannabis manufacturing.” That would include the manufacture of concentrates such as dabs, wax, various THC and hash oils, and even a lot of edibles.
For those in favor of the restriction, the rule would help reduce the chance of explosions or fires that can occur when concentrate-making goes wrong. But many others are worried that the rule might harm L.A.’s economy.
According to experts, cannabis concentrates account for around 30 percent of all legal weed sales. But stats show that it’s even higher in Southern California. Analysts calculate that concentrates make up closer to 60 percent of the legal weed market in Southern California.
On top of all that, the ban would also eliminate the production of several types of edibles. And that’s an especially big market. In 2015, experts said that edibles made up roughly half of all legal weed sales in the U.S.
Critics of the proposed rule cite all these numbers. They argue that removing concentrate production from L.A. will be a huge missed opportunity. In particular, it could mean that the city will lose out on some big-time tax revenue.
Making Cannabis Concentrates
The ban is an attempt to limit the possible dangers of making cannabis concentrates. Outside the legal market, these dangers are very real. When people make concentrates at home—the most common of which is butane hash oil—it is not uncommon for homes to explode and catch fire. That’s because many of the techniques for making concentrates relies on the use of volatile and flammable chemicals.
But, industry experts point out, many of those dangers are mitigated in larger-scale commercial production. For them, it’s yet another reason to avoid implementing the ban.
“It’s perfectly safe when there’s a trained operator using high-quality chemicals,” said David Sparer, CEO of Refined Hydrocarbon Solutions. “If the City Council doesn’t allow this to happen in a highly regulated environment, the good players will go to outlying cities, and the tax revenue will go with them. And it will still be sold in L.A. These bad players left will continue to blow things up.”
Final Hit: L.A. Could Ban the Production of Cannabis Concentrates And THC Oils
The current debate in L.A. is part of a larger picture. Now that California voters have approved recreational weed, the state continues working to get everything figured out. Along with questions about manufacturing, local and state governments are also working on the production and retail side. Currently, the state has said it will have everything finalized by the beginning of next year.