Cannabis Dispensary Compliance: A Comprehensive Checklist.

by Santos, Osiris

Use this checklist to make sure you are operating according to compliance guidelines.

Opening a dispensary is a uniquely exciting opportunity, but it comes with risks.

Beyond the large initial investment required, dispensary owners need to walk a confident path along a constantly changing regulatory landscape. Failure to meet regulatory guidelines can result in the premature closure of an otherwise promising dispensary.

Most states and local jurisdictions have demanding regulatory systems in place, and for good reason. For the legal cannabis industry to thrive, it is going to have to address the concerns of the local populations it impacts.

But every regulatory framework varies. In many places, regulators are still working out exactly how their state’s cannabis industry will function. Change is fundamental to the growth of this new industry, and dispensary owners will need to keep a vigilant eye on compliance.

The Dispensary Owner’s Compliance Checklist

Regulations vary between states, so this checklist will refer to general rules that tend to apply across multiple jurisdictions. It is a tool for combing through your state’s cannabis regulation without getting lost in the hundreds of pages state authorities typically publish.

Your Dispensary Location and Exterior

  • Signage. Make sure your dispensary sign follows local ordnance. You may not be able to display advertisements, promotions, or images that cater to minors.
  • Windows. Some jurisdictions require dispensaries to prevent pedestrians from looking into the store through the windows. Others specify certain types of window displays.
  • Zoning. Most jurisdictions require cannabis dispensaries to operate in specific districts, away from schools and similar institutions.
  • Security. If your state requires cameras and access control, make sure these are visible and functional.

Your Dispensary’s Interior

  • Signage. Interior signs should be posted and visible while conforming to state law.
  • Licensing. Your retail license must be prominently displayed inside the dispensary. This is the first thing regulators will look for.
  • Lighting and Line-of-Sight. If your employees can’t see what’s happening in every corner of your dispensary, you can’t prevent minors and other individuals from sneaking in.
  • Product Prices and Information. Make sure product information is prominently positioned and easy to read. Include any messaging that state authorities require you to display. 

Dispensary Operations

  • Inventory. Cannabis stock typically has to be protected. Make sure your dry leaf and other products are kept in an access-controlled warehouse, and purchase limits are respected.
  • Insurance. Most states require dispensaries to take out commercial general liability insurance. Make sure your insurance is up-to-date and reflects real work conditions.
  • Disposal. Cannabis disposal is highly regulated. Consider outsourcing disposal to a third-party vendor who specializes in compliant waste disposal.
  • Labeling. In most jurisdictions, cannabis products need to be labeled clearly and placed in specific types of containers.
  • Seed-to-Sale Tracking. Make sure you are reporting seed-to-sale tracking data with every transaction. Audit your records to ensure your seed-to-sale reports coincide with real stock and sales figures.
  • Employees. Make sure your employees have been trained on the latest regulatory requirements and follow protocol for customer verifications.

Automate Dispensary Compliance with EZGreen

Staying ahead of regulatory compliance can be challenging. Enlist the help of a dedicated dispensary software platform that automates the most challenging aspects of maintaining and reporting compliance. Automate regulatory compliance by deploying a purpose-built point-of-sale solution today.

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