There’s a lot that goes into starting and operating a cannabis dispensary. You’ll need an employer identification number, a bank account, and a tax ID. You’ll need licenses and permits. You’ll need a logo, marketing materials, and a website.
Cannabis businesses need to go the extra mile and adhere to compliance. A single violation can cost you dearly, especially if you’re fairly new to the business, still struggling to grow. Infringement of any state or federal regulation can lead to a variety of problems, including possible license revocation.
Keeping your cannabis dispensary compliant with the law builds trust with your client base and enhances your overall reputation.
Stay current on dispensary licensing and renewals
If you want to own and manage a dispensary, you need to secure proper licensing and permits. Each jurisdiction has different requirements, so it’s a good idea to get to know the regulators in your area. Then, pay attention to the details. How do you operate: in-store, online, or a combination of both? Be sure to renew any retail licenses before they expire, and pay any required fees on time. Failure in any area is an open invitation for authorities to come in, audit, and possibly fine.
Use a seed-to-sale POS system
When you start small, you look for inexpensive ways to get the job done. For a cannabis dispensary, they can increase your risk. One of the main concerns of the legal marijuana industry is the ability to track products from seed to sale. States provide guidance on how dispensaries must act to remain in compliance. They provide labeling guidance, testing rules, packaging requirements, and inventory audit rules. POS systems built specifically for the cannabis industry can simplify the traceability process. This is where it helps to partner with businesses that can assist you in setting up your systems the right way the first time.
Compliance and education go hand in hand
This isn’t a once-and-done process. Instead, compliance is an ongoing process that must be performed at every level. It’s up to you to stay on top of rules and regulations as they change. Create training programs to ensure your employees and budtenders know the latest information. Having a compliance manager on staff to oversee all compliance-related issues is never a bad idea. But even with someone on staff, it’s equally important to partner with other outside sources to ensure you’re up with the latest regulations.
Have a standard operating guide
Processes and procedures are important for every business, but are vital for a cannabis business. Creating standard operating procedures for your dispensary is a great way to document your processes. This makes every procedure easy to replicate by other employees, and creates a trail accessible by anyone looking for compliance issues.
Create stringent security practices
Cannabis is a high-cash, high-risk business. You’ll need to ensure you’re compliant with how you store it as well as keeping employees and products safe and secure. Security begins as soon as you drive on the premises. Video surveillance requirements vary by state, but every state requires dispensaries to have 24-hour surveillance. It should have clear access to the outer perimeter of the property, the check-in area, the sales floor, and any other area where transactions may take place. Alarm systems should be well thought out, using unique codes for every employee to track daily activation.
Where to start with cannabis dispensary compliance
Growing businesses requires a lot of action. It’s easy to jump at quick fixes rather than finding long-term solutions. The cannabis industry comes with its own set of challenges and regulations, and failing to adhere to them can lead to severe consequences. Maintaining compliance in the operation of a cannabis dispensary is crucial for long-term success and reputation.
Start with the end goal in mind. Create partnerships early that can help you create a business built for strength and longevity. Create systems that will ensure compliance from the moment you open your doors.
It really is the best way to succeed.
For IT Strategy, Security and Compliance, or Help Desk Services, reach out to us at Cannabis Technology Partners 360-450-4759.