Cannabis Dispensaries Must Avoid These 6 Critical Compliance Mistakes

, 13/05/2021

Running a dispensary without solid procedures is no easy task. There are so many moving parts to stay on top of on any given day, but the most important thing is ensuring that you aren’t doing anything that could put your business in legal jeopardy.

While there has been so much progress both politically and socially for the legalization of marijuana, there are so many layers of rules and regulations that cannabis dispensaries must follow in order to remain free from legal scrutiny. Just one minor misstep could have severe consequences. Dispensaries that commit a compliance violation risk being fined, undermining their reputation and losing customers to competitors, or, worse, being forced to permanently close their doors.

Below are six of the most critical compliance mistakes dispensaries must avoid.

1. Employees not checking customer IDs

This step should be so ingrained in your operations that it’s second nature for your employees, but this is one of the most common compliance violations many dispensaries make. Your employees should always ask to see every customer’s ID to verify that they’re of legal age and medical status to buy your products. At Tweedleaf we use a third party software to ensure all IDs are valid and in good standing.

2. Failure to meet security requirements

Having the appropriate security measures to protect your dispensary is required to obtain a business license. These security measures can sometimes be quite costly, resulting in many dispensaries taking shortcuts that could put them in jeopardy. It’s not enough to just have an alarm system in place or a lock on your doors, you must have a detailed security plan that may encompass onsite security guards. High-resolution security cameras covering every square inch inside and outside of your building is a must and it’s very important to ensure that your inventory is being properly monitored, stored, and transported.

3. Allowing customers to ‘loop’

‘Looping’ is when a customer goes to a dispensary, purchases the maximum amount of cannabis allowed, and then returns that same day for a repeated purchase. The reason this is a compliance issue is that it’s likely that the customer has the intention to resell. Failure to catch and resolve ‘looping’ customers could result in losing your license and being barred from the cannabis industry.

4. Improper or expired licenses

Every state has its own unique licensing regulations for businesses, retail stores, cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensaries. Dispensary owners must know these requirements and ensure they have the correct paperwork in place. Maintaining good relations with both your local and state licensing authorities is a must.

5. Violating privacy requirements

Customer data breaches aren’t as common in the cannabis industry, but that’s not to say that they still couldn’t happen. It’s important to protect the personal and financial information of your customers at all costs. If there’s a breach, you could face civil or criminal penalties that could have easily been avoided.

6. Failure to follow packaging, labeling, and product safety laws

Just as every state has their own licensing laws, they also have their own rules and regulations when it comes to a dispensary’s packaging, labeling, and products. Pay close attention to your local laws so that you have the necessary information included on every single one of your items before placing on the shelf.

By knowing what to look out for, you can avoid making these cannabis compliance mistakes. Rules and regulations are constantly changing, so make sure compliance is always a top priority at your organization.

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