dispensary compliance

4 min read

5 Common Cannabis Compliance Violations by Marijuana Dispensaries

January 25, 2018

As more and more marijuana dispensaries receive their medical and adult-use business licenses, avoiding cannabis compliance violations becomes the top priority. New regulations released by the California Bureau of Cannabis Control have outlined the expectations from retailers as well as the consequences for failing to comply.

If cannabis compliance violations are committed, the offending cannabis retailer will first be sent a notice to comply. If the violation is not addressed within 15 days of receiving the notice, the marijuana dispensary could be subject to citations and administrative fees up to $5,000.

To avoid these costly infractions, we’ve compiled a list of the most common cannabis compliance violations.

Operating Without a License

Unfortunately there are some marijuana businesses out there who completely disregard the licensing process and sell cannabis on their own terms. This type of blatant violations will most likely result in an immediate shutdown and very possible prosecution.

Operating without a marijuana business license is a slap in the face to all of the cannabis retailers who have worked hard to abide by new mandates and legitimize the industry. Once temporary licenses expire, dispensaries that have not been issued an annual license will be forced to shut their doors. There is zero tolerance policy for these types of cannabis compliance violations so it’s more than worth submitting an application to become a licensed retailer.

Failing To Report Inventory

Part of cannabis compliance is seed-to-sale tracking. Reporting inventory counts and sales figures is required by the State of California and failing to do so will definitely result in a violation. Using dispensary POS software to automate reporting will allow retailers to avoid a costly infraction.

Marijuana dispensaries will need to reconcile their inventory every 14-days with the METRC reporting system. The Bureau of Cannabis Control requires cannabis retailers to contact them and law enforcement if there are significant inventories discrepancies, product loss, or theft. Submitting compliance inventory reports that contain inaccuracies could also incur fines or fees.  

Patient Purchase Limits

Another area of compliance that has troubled several marijuana dispensaries is the daily purchase limits for medical patients and adult-use customers. Each category of customer has different purchase limits and calculating these during a transaction is often overlooked to conserve time.

There have already been crackdowns on cannabis retailers in Colorado who have failed to accurately enforce the daily sales limit. Fortunately, smart dispensary POS software can alert budtenders during the transaction when a customer has met or exceeded their daily limit. Preventing overages will save your marijuana business from exorbitant citations.

Sales to Minors

Selling cannabis to minors is one of the more severe cannabis compliance violations and one that is deeply frowned upon by the Bureau of Cannabis Control. New cannabis regulations authorize peace officers to use minor decoys to test marijuana dispensaries. If allowed to enter or purchase cannabis the owner, manager or budtender could be apprehended or issued a citation on the spot.

While this may seem like entrapment to some, the minor decoy is required to answer truthfully about his age. Minor decoys will either have no identification, or identification with their real birth date so dispensary staff will need to stay diligent and validate every customer’s age.

Delivery Documentation

When it comes to dispensary delivery services, there are several area of compliance that need to be met to avoid cannabis compliance violations. Every delivery driver must be at least 21 years of age and carry a copy of the cannabis business license. All couriers must also use an enclosed vehicle meaning motorcycles do not qualify as a means of delivery transportation.

Dispensary owners must submit all vehicle documentation including the VIN number, license plate number, and DMV registration to the Bureau of Cannabis Control before any deliveries can be made. Use of cannabis by couriers in route to their destination is strictly prohibited and driver’s are not allowed to carry more that $3000 worth of product on board at any one time.

Failing to meet new compliance statues can have some irreversible negative effects on your cannabis retailer. Installing compliance based POS software will allow dispensaries to automate many of the compliance requirements and focus on running a successful business. Sign-up for a free 14-day trail to understand all the compliance benefits associated with IndicaOnline.