Cannabis compliance can be overwhelming. As a highly regulated industry, the burden on business owners can be too much. But exactly what does compliance mean? Are you doing enough? To fully protect your business, you should have a compliance program that understands all the regulations you must comply with, not just traceability.
All businesses have certain legal responsibilities when they have employees. Cannabis businesses are no exception. That means that as an employer, you must understand your responsibilities and have a compliance strategy. Providing workers comp coverage and developing an effective safety program are two examples of employer responsibilities. It is also recommended that you have formal human resources policies to protect both you and your employees as your staff grows. People are your biggest asset. Having a plan for how you take care of them is essential.
Quality control is another critical process that requires its own compliance program. Standard operating procedures are the primary way to establish reproduceable results by outlining the jobs; ensuring that all products that leaves your facility meets your standard of quality. All parts of the process from cultivation to packaging should be documented and manuals created for staff training. This will help ensure consistency and quality.
If an issue ever does occur, you also need an effective recall plan in place. The recall plan outlines how you work with partners and the media to get information out about the recalled product. Then it details how you work with stores and distributors to get the effected product out of circulation as quickly as possible. Recall plans are an example of cannabis compliance that uses traceability data to be effective. This plan is critical to minimize brand damage with a quick and complete response.
If you are looking forward to federal legalization, then you need to begin researching how you would get your facility and product approved following current FDA good manufacturing practices. Federal compliance with quality management regulations will be required to get into national markets. There may be a significant investment needed to upgrade a facility to cGMP standards. You need to understand the needs and requirements now, so you have a plan for compliance as your business grows and the rules evolve.
And then, on top of all that, you have state level compliance with track and trace or traceability that can demand a lot of attention. Traceability is a critical operation and deserves the focus of staff members who are tasked with the job. But it is not the only type of compliance that cannabis businesses need to be prepared for to manage risk and protect themselves. You need a compliance program that covers all your bases.
More legalization leads to more government involvement and that leads to more rules and regulations. This is an amazing moment in time as the hemp and cannabis industries develop at incredible speeds. But going forward we will not have less compliance; we will have more.
So, start getting your cannabis compliance program underway today. At Think Happy Consulting we have the experience to help you develop a compliance program that matches your business plan.