California seeks to avoid recreational marijuana shortage

California is taking steps to prevent a product shortfall when the state’s recreational marijuana program launches Jan. 2.

The state plans to provide temporary, four-month licenses to some marijuana growers, testing labs and distributors to ensure there will be enough product to keep retailers supplied, the Los Angeles Times reported.

California’s decision was prompted by a supply shortage in Nevada after the state launched its recreational program July 1.

Nevada’s shortfall stemmed from a dispute over distribution of adult-use cannabis and resulted in higher wholesale prices and a negative impact on the state’s medical marijuana market.

Lori Ajax, director of the California Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, said the agency’s goal is to issue enough licenses “so we don’t have a break in the supply chain,” according to the newspaper.

The state’s adult-use marijuana law mandates that licenses be issued to grow, test, distribute and sell marijuana for recreational use beginning Jan. 2.

California Sen. Mike McGuire, who chairs the Senate Governance and Finance Committee, estimated that 20,000 marijuana growers will seek licenses, the Times reported.