In San Francisco, total sales have more than doubled in the past five years but, on average, sales at individual stores and dispensaries are falling. According to the controller’s report, individual outlet sales dropped 45% — from $6.3 million to $3.4 million in 2018 — in part because 44 new retailers and delivery services entered the market, creating more competition along with an Illicit market that is still thriving. A 2019 audit, conducted by the United Cannabis Business Association (UCBA) a state industry trade organization, found approximately 2,835 unlicensed dispensaries and delivery services operating in California, compared to 873 licensed sellers.
Interview with John Butters of Mankind Dispensary regarding the illicit-market vape cartridge buy-back program. 80% of the unregulated vapes collected were unfit for consumption: 62% failed for pesticides, 37% failed for lead, and 20% contained vitamin E acetate.