'Fire sales' at Bay Area cannabis dispensaries ahead of July 1 rule change

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Dispensaries across the Bay Area are slashing prices ahead of a July 1 deadline. Cannabis retailers do not want to see their investments go up in smoke so instead of destroying old product they're selling it at a steep discount.

"Weed is going to be cheaper this week in California, I think than it will be for the next couple of years," said Sabrina Fendrick of Berkeley Patients Group.

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The new rules regarding labeling, safety packaging, and chemical testing are part of California's legalization of the industry.

Cannabis packaging must have child-proofing, while product testing looks for levels of unwanted pesticides in the plant, while labeling standards ensure consumers know what they're getting.

"This is a phase-in of regulation that is really meant to protect the consumer," explained Fendrick.

"Any testing for anything that is food related or you're taking into your body I see as a plus," said Jessie Kent, an Antioch resident.

While the changes are a good thing for consumers there's a sobering stat.

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"I think there's less than 30 testing labs in the whole state and everything has to be tested," said Fendrick.

The new standards could cause a supply shortage.

"We're completely at the mercy of the supply chain so if we don't have a compliant product then yes, that's absolutely going to affect us and we're going to take a hit," said Fendrick.

That hit is a financial one, not the one customers are seeking.

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