California Starts Suspending Non-Compliant Dispensary Licenses

by Mike Coner

Find out what mistakes the state’s non-compliant dispensaries made.

On November 1st, almost 400 California-based cannabis businesses closed overnight.

The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) has issued 394 notices to cannabis retailers, delivery services, and distributors, informing them that they cannot conduct business legally until they undergo mandatory state training and re-apply for their licenses.

Collectively, these businesses account for about 5% of the state’s legal cannabis supply chain. The notified companies must cease all sales transactions until they achieve “active” status in the state’s system.

California Takes a Harder Stance Tracking METRC Compliance

California requires all of its cannabis businesses to report sales and distribution information to the state’s seed-to-sale tracking system, METRC. The state has been dealing with troubling non-compliance trends since it legalized medical marijuana decades ago.

Once the state legalized recreational cannabis dispensaries, non-compliance took a sharp turn upwards. In September, the United Cannabis Business Association found that the state’s black market for cannabis was three times larger than its legal industry – a troubling development for marijuana patients and enthusiasts who want to ensure a safe and steady supply within the state.

The state crackdown on non-compliant dispensaries is just one step towards its goal of establishing and enforcing a legitimate industry. Legitimate marijuana dispensary owners have criticized the state’s leaders for not doing more to stop the development of unlicensed dispensaries.

Part of this movement requires holding legitimate dispensaries towards a higher standard of conduct. In order for the state’s cannabis industry to survive, dispensary owners must take clear steps to adhere to the state’s METRC compliance rules.

Where California’s Non-Compliant Dispensaries Went Wrong

According to the BCC, every one of the 394 suspended cannabis firms had ample time to take the state’s mandated METRC training and obtain the necessary credentials. But there is more to compliance than simply signing onto the state-mandated system and taking a training course.

Cannabis businesses looking to stay in regulators’ good graces need to go through all of the steps necessary to ensure optimized performance through the METRC workflow. Busy dispensary owners rarely have enough time to do this on their own, and not all dispensaries have a full-time compliance officer onboard.

But dispensaries, distributors, and cultivators have other options available. 

Many cannabis businesses streamline their transaction reporting processes using compliant point-of-sale (POS) solutions. These solutions empower dispensaries to spend less time creating compliant workflows from scratch and more time doing value-generating work.

Choose On-Demand METRC Compliance with EZGreen

EZGreen uses a simple four-step process to help its clients transition from a non-compliant POS vendor to its regulation-friendly framework:

  • Prepare inventory/ Patients + tax formularies. ezGreen will provide you templates for inventory ingestion to Metrc and work directly with your team lead through the assignment process.
  • Validate your hardware and assign org chart credentials.  Share all hardware specs on printers, scanners, monitors and cash drawers for ezGreen POS integration and assign staff log in credentials.
  • Create custom reports for each teams department. Confirm the unique reports for sales, inventory, taxes and management teams to gain access to data relevant to their position in the company 
  • Staff Training  and go live date. Staff training ensures that every member of your team knows how to use METRC and how to avoid costly non-compliance fines. After this, you are ready to go live!

EZGreen ensures long-term compliance without weighing down value-generating operations and processes. Schedule a call with our METRC compliance experts to review your Metrc reporting needs.

Sources:
https://mjbizdaily.com/nearly-400-california-marijuana-business-licenses-suspended-injecting-fresh-uncertainty-into-states-cannabis-industry/ https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-09-11/california-marijuana-black-market-dwarfs-legal-pot-industry

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