Calif. pot shops offer discounts as new standards near


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bargain basement bud is on the menu in California, but you need to act fast to cash in on the cheap weed.

Regulations being phased in six months after the state broadly legalized marijuana require that pot sold after Saturday meet strict quality standards, so retailers unloading untested inventory are offering blowout prices.

Deep discounts on everything from edibles to joints reflect the last days of the heady first phase of legal recreational pot. They could be followed by empty shelves as many stores scramble to restock with properly tested and packaged products.

"You can smell it. There's a certain desperation from stores that bought too much and they have to dump it," said John Atari, CEO of Source Cannabis Farms, a licensed cultivator in Los Angeles. "There's going to be a big shortage of clean product come July 1."

At Firehaus, a shop along an LA freeway, a fire sale of sorts unfolded this month with a 50 percent off "summer blowout" sale advertised on a popular marijuana app and texted and emailed to regular customers.

Patrons leaving the brick storefront on a recent day were happy to double their value, but were unaware of the reason behind the bargains.

A half-dozen of those interviewed said they welcomed testing designed to weed out pesticides and contaminants such as solvents and mold, though they were largely unconcerned about the safety of the cannabis they've used for years.

"I smoked pot for 40 years that wasn't tested, from dealers on the street, and it smelled like anything from gasoline to perfume," said Catherine Lanzarotta, who stocked up on "Blue Dream." ''So I've never had that concern."

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