Last December 2017, the recreational marijuana market has been collectively gasped when a particular cannabis dispensary was raided by the police and had 26 of their cannabis-related licenses are suspended.
The reason that the public was told was they had been caught in a year-long investigation into the looping practices, such as selling illegal amounts of marijuana products to the consumers in one day.
Generally, the number of cannabis consumers can buy up to an ounce of flower (28 grams), equivalent to any marijuana product of 800 mg edibles and 8 grams of cannabis concentrate. Though this rule and amount may vary from state to state, so it’s better to consult it first to your local government about California Marijuana Dispensary Laws.
The word “looping” is where a customer purchases their marijuana products according to their legal limit, then place that item somewhere else, and returns to the shop to make another purchase again. The process is being repeated, that’s why it was called as “looped.”
The name also comes from the circuit that consumers would make to their cars and back again. But this method gives the impression that looping is quite fishy and visually distinct, when, in reality, it is not the case. Generally, modern looping is entirely covert, can be done at a single shop visit, but created multiple transactions.
The Upturn of Marijuana Looping
The upturn of looping methods can be traced to an apparent loophole in a regulatory wording. According to the earliest phrasing of the rules and regulations that evolves in recreational sales, an ounce limit was mandated as a single transaction only. This is implemented to maintain and stay within the clauses, dispensaries who practice looped methods would eliminate the one-ounce policy of the law, by completing a single transaction, and come back again to purchase another one.
According to the budtenders from the raided dispensary, authorities were informed that the management told these employees that looping practice is legal. Generally, the most affected employees in these kinds of laws are the budtenders. Most of the time, charges were given to the staff and budtenders and not to the person who owns the dispensary business, which is the one who enjoys the profit from looping practices.
How Can a State Prevent Marijuana Dispensary Looping?
You might probably be wondering about how they can handle the situation. The answer to that is not so simple. Looping practice has been already prohibited in some statute and rule. To further explain the statutory prohibition, these rules have been articulated in the quantity limitations on sales:
- Takes into the account whether a licensee has an idea o should be reasonably familiarized with that kind of transfer and transaction which can result in the consumer purchasing more than an ounce of marijuana
- Clarifying a single purchase that includes multiple transactions to the same customer during the same day.
Aside from the recent rules, anyone who attempts to circumvent the statutory and requirements that induce sales limitations will seek administrative actions accordingly.
Why is Marijuana Looping Happening?
While it’s pretty clear that the practice of looping is persuaded by dispensary owners and its upper management to raise their profits, communication breakdown is also present. It contributes to the potential misunderstanding among budtenders.
But most of the time, budtenders are fully aware of the state law. That’s why generally if they are not encouraged by the management to do the looping, this will not happen to other dispensaries as well. Even if the rules have changed in different states, a dispensary shop should always be updated with these changes.
Once the authorities have found out that your dispensary business practices marijuana looping to gain a lot of profits from the consumer, your business, management, and especially budtenders will be charged accordingly.
The Future of Cannabis Sales without Looping
No one can see what the future holds, and there would be a lot of changes in the law that will happen soon, or some alternation for the better would be all unknown. What dispensaries can do today is to follow what is mandated on their state’s law. Because investments, capitals, and potential profits will be wasted with just a single mistake.
So if you don’t want to hurt your marijuana dispensary career and licenses, do not commit this kind of practice. Not only it will hurt your business, but you are putting your staff, especially budtenders, in a riskier scenario.
For dispensaries who were caught committing this practice, you can still move forward and move on. You can submit an appeal while waiting for the approval of a new store opening. If the court allows you to open again, make sure that you won’t commit this again because you will never know, perhaps this could be your last chance in the cannabis industry. For sure, you wouldn’t want that to happen, right?