Layoffs Spook the Marijuana Industry. Are California Regulations to Blame?

A torrent of layoffs has hit California’s legal marijuana industry and business owners say California’s mishmash of laws is to blame.

Prop. 64, which legalized recreational cannabis for adults 21 and over, gave significant leeway to cities and counties. Today, over half of cities and counties ban marijuana retail. There is now one dispensary for every 34,256 adults 21 and older, according a BDS Analytics and ArcView Market Research survey.

“We need more retail, and it’s not in a few months. We need more retail immediately,” said Flow Kana CEO Mikey Steinmetz. His company is cutting a fifth of its workforce. (Sacramento Bee).

Cracking down on black market activity, which state and local governments have been doing, is not enough, added Steinmetz. Retailers need more space where they’re allowed to sell their product. He’s also calling for tax relief.

“The alarm bell is ringing. The entire legal industry is contracting as evidenced by recent noteworthy lay-offs experienced by Eaze, Pax, CannaCraft, Grupo Flor, Weedmaps, and many other private companies that have been silently conducting hiring freezes and discharges,” Steinmetz warns. “Let’s make the New Year one of fruition in the which the extraordinary promise of California’s legal cannabis industry begins to flower.”

CannaCraft in Sonoma County and Monterey County-based Grupo Flor have announced staff cuts of 16% and 35% (Marijuana Business Daily).