A lighter moment in watching the regulation experiment – #9

I’m watching the impact of heavy regulation on the newly legal business of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington.

I don’t plan to focus on the short-term adjustment issues from the grand natural experiment. I’m more interested in waiting for the unintended crushing effect of regulation.

In the meantime, it is entertaining to watch the transition. Sometime you gotta’ just laugh….

10/7 – KOMO News – Exploding ‘pot pop’ removed from three marijuana shops

Manufacturer of marijuana infused pomegranate juice sorta’ kinda’ didn’t quite have their manufacturing formula nailed down when they shipped the soda.

Actually, they did a lousy job on their first batch of infused soda. The yeast hadn’t stopped fermenting when they shipped the bottles.

(Why would you choose pomegranate soda for infusion?)

(Even better question – why would you ferment soda?)

After one night on the shelf of a retail store, the bottles started exploding.

Only good news is the first bottles that made like a hand grenade choose to self-destruct while the store was closed. When staff arrived the morning after the bottles were stocked on the shelf, they found pomegranate juice and glass (and presumably traces of marijuana) all over the store.

Owner of the store put hundreds of unsold bottles in a locked metal container outside the store. Store bought 330 bottles, sold 10, and has 320 on hand. Or, rather, they had 320 intact bottles when first placed in the dumpster.

They’ve been going off at random for 10 days.

Store owner is in a dispute with the manufacturer over who will return the exploding bottles from the store to the plant, which is a 3 1/2 hour drive each way. Strict regulation over tracing product means the retail store can’t just pop the caps and pour everything down the drain or throw all of the bottles in the trash or ship them to a landfill.

Two other stores report exploding bottles.

Owner of the manufacturing company says in a phone interview

“Sometimes when {you are} creating new products in new marketplace there’s a little bit of a learning curve..”

10/6 – Huffington Post – Gov. John Hickenlooper: It Was ‘Reckless’ For Colorado To Legalize Marijuana – During a debate in advance of next month’s election, the governor calls the voter’s action to legalize marijuana ‘reckless’. His spokeswoman immediately walked back the comment. He retracted the comment within 24 hours according to the Daily Caller, Hickenlooper Thinks Twice After Calling Voters ‘Reckless’ on Legal Pot’.

He now says it was ‘risky’, not ‘reckless’. He obviously realized too late that all the people who might be upset by being called reckless were likely to vote in a month.

I will wait patiently to see what impact regulation has on a newly legal industry. As I said above, in the meantime the transition is entertaining.

10/9 – 9 News – New at the pot shop: Milder marijuana for novices – Gotta’ admire the fast reacting entrepreneurial spirit.

Producers have milder products available to counter the issue of people getting too much THC in their first try with pot products. One company has an infused soda with 1/15th the regular dose. Another company has a “Rookie Cookie.”

Players in the industry seem to be quite nimble.

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