Medical marijuana users flock to dispensaries ahead of new pot regulations

The countdown to cannabis legalization is underway in California and Harborside in Oakland is seeing a rush of customers before new regulations go into effect.

There was a line outside the dispensary on Friday afternoon. Andrew De Angelo, Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer for Harborside, said the last few days have been crazy with cannabis patients coming in and stocking up before taxes increase at the start of the new year.

“I think that most people can expect at 10% to 30% increase in the product price, depending on what kind of product it is and depending on what form the product is in,” DeAngelo said.

He said medical customers who show a valid county issued medical ID card can have the sales tax taken off their purchase price.

Medical customers are also buying edibles before dosage requirements go into effect. On Jan. 1, California will limit edibles to 10 mg of THC, with no more than 100 mg allowed in a single product package. DeAngelo said it is intended to prevent a negative experience if a child or pet accidentally ingests the product.

“There's good reasons for these regulations and the regulators and regulators have carved out tinctures and capsules for those who may need more than 100 milligrams or more than 10 milligrams at a time,” he said.

Harborside is prepping for the rush by adding more registers and staff to accommodate the demand.

Abi Scheier, a vendor for Lola Lola based in San Francisco, visited the dispensary to make sure they were stocked up for adult use of their product. She is also a medical cannabis patient.

“I am ready for Monday,” Scheier said. “It's exciting, crazy. It's a complete change for the industry right now.”

More than 1,000 customers are estimated to have visited Harborside on Friday and the business expects bigger crowds on Monday. Harborside will open at 6 a.m. Jan. 1 and will give away gifts and prizes to the first 100 people in line.