Pot Chief Worries Sacramento Won’t Be Able To Bring Dispensaries Into Compliance

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Sacramento pot chief is making a bold statement after a scathing audit finds widespread non-compliance within the city’s pot shops.

“I don’t think they’re prepared,” said Ross Hendrix, the head of the Del Paso Heights Neighborhood Association.

He’s concerned that the city is lacking the ability to curtail a previously unregulated industry.

“I think we were more doubting the resources in the city to make sure they were complying with the rules,” said Hendrix.

An audit of the 30 shops in the city showed a handful of them either didn’t keep adequate records or severely underpaid city taxes.

“We like to think that the profits from the marijuana businesses will be trickling down to the neighborhoods, but we’re not really seeing it,” said Hendrix.

“They know that their window of becoming compliant is short and closing and there is going to be real consequences if they don’t,” said Joe Devlin, the Sacramento chief of cannabis policy and enforcement.

He says marijuana businesses have been operating without rules and regulations for decades, which has led to sloppy bookkeeping and misinformation.

“Play by the rules and be compliant or not do business in Sacramento,” said Devlin, explaining the message he sent to the city’s dispensary owners.

Since the audit, one dispensary had its license suspended. A handful of others were issued warnings.

Devlin says business owners are now shaping up.

“Ten of our thirty dispensaries have retained a compliance consultant,” explained Devlin.

The city is doing hiring of its own, trying to gear up for the flood of new businesses that will open shortly after January 1st. They include cultivators, manufacturers, testing labs, and delivery services.

“We’re building and have built capacity towards the regulatory and enforcement infrastructure that we need to manage this industry,” said Devlin.

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