Cannabis businesses are facing a growing challenge: Compliance. So far, 9 U.S. states have legalized recreational marijuana and 29 U.S. states have legalized medical marijuana. As the cannabis industry continues to grow and mature, however, states are ratcheting up their oversight and expectations, and there is an increasing need for consistency in regard to the quality of the product and the operations that surround it.
Change is not only coming, it’s already here. In case you’ve missed some key highlights recently while celebrating 4/20, consider this:
The first marijuana law in America, enacted in Jamestown colony in 1619, actually required settlers to grow cannabis. Cannabis was frequently used for trades, and some colonies even allowed farmers to pay taxes with cannabis. This tax policy lasted for more than 200 years until the early 1900s when legislation began leaning toward prohibiting both the cultivation and sale of the product.
In January of 2018 the State of California announced they would be issuing annual licenses within 180 days and within that time the state track and trace system for cannabis, METRC, would be operational. With METRC integration imminent, now is the time to think about how to track plant movement and inventory levels to start reporting the required data back to the state. The first step you should take is to find a business partner whose software platform will provide value for your business and also assist in helping you make this transition.
Domestically in the United States, licensed cannabis business owners are working hard to deliver superior value to their customers while also maintaining compliance with state and local agencies. To say the least, the challenges facing these businesses can be both daunting and uncertain. Not only is there very little, if any, assistance for these companies, everyone is walking on egg shells to ensure their licenses are not revoked and they are not fined large sums of money.
To help ensure regulatory compliance, safety and overall public health, states that have approved medical and recreational marijuana sales and use are leveraging technology as part of the solution. Most states have a rudimentary system in place (e.g. METRC) that collects the minimum data that is reported back to the state for basic compliance. For seasoned growers and professional operators, the solution doesn’t stop here. There is a more complete, faster, and intelligent layer of technology that is being used to support cannabis businesses across the value chain.
Flourish was recently featured on Direct Cannabis Network's newsletter. Here is the complete article:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has rescinded the Obama-era position of the Federal government to not intervene in states that have legalized marijuana. Whether this ends up being a major, minor, or non-issue remains to be seen. This does, however, further encourage individual states and the owners/operators of canna-businesses to focus on compliance.
Although the news of cannabis cultivator busts is not uncommon, a recent incident in California appears to be establishing a seismic shift in the response from law enforcement. You can read the entire Associated Press article on MSN, but here are the highlights: