Category: Blog , Compliance , Operations

An Easy Guide to Marijuana Disposal for Cannabis Retailers

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Almost every state that has legal medical or recreational marijuana has a specific set of regulations pertaining to marijuana disposal. There are a few instances in which cannabis retailers will be required to destroy marijuana and arrange for proper disposal of this material. It’s important to understand how this process works and the necessary documentation needed to stay compliant.

In this article, we’ll cover when cannabis retailers are responsible for marijuana disposal and how to go about destroying it in safe and legal method.

Customer Returns

Anytime a customer returns cannabis flower to a dispensary, no matter the cause, it will need to be promptly and adequately destroyed. Attempting to resell any marijuana that has been previously returned can result if hefty compliance fines and jeopardize your dispensary business license.

It’s important to note that this also applies to any cannabis product that has been abandoned on the retailer premises. Once the transaction has been completed and the purchase has been made, any marijuana that is accidentally left on site must be treated as a return. Whether it’s mold, a mistaken strain, or simply a matter of preference, all returns are subject to the marijuana disposal statutes.

Display Cannabis

It’s very common for many medical and recreational cannabis dispensaries to provide small samples of each marijuana strain for customers to inspect before they purchase the product. This ‘display cannabis’ is only to be used for this purpose and must be destroyed once the product is out of stock.

Any cannabis product that has been removed from its original packaging to be inspected by clientele must not be accessible without the assistance of a sales representative. Once the specific strain has been removed from the dispensary inventory, the display cannabis must disposed of in accordance with state regulations.

Marijuana Waste Disposal

While the laws vary from state to state, California cannabis retailers are required to get rid of any marijuana waste in secure receptacle or area. Specifically this means that physical access to the area or receptacle should be limited to the licensee, dispensary staff, or waste hauler.

If your cannabis retailer uses a third party agency or waste hauling service, you must provide detailed information to the California Bureau of Cannabis Control. All dispensaries are required to submit the name of the hauler, the company address, a receipt for service with date and time, a certified weight ticket, and a primary contact name/telephone number. Once you’ve completed the marijuana disposal, save all the paperwork and upload images to your dispensary software to keep an accurate record.

Marijuana Disposal Methods

There are several ways that you can destroy your marijuana waste, and while using a hauling service is recommended for larger dispensaries, some small shops will choose to transport to a facility themselves. If this is the case, only the licensee or his employees may transport the waste and they must obtain a receipt and certified weight ticket documenting the transaction.

Finding a permitted facility to destroy your marijuana waste can be tricky but there are a few types of solid waste facilities so one should be closeby. You can dispose of your marijuana waste at a manned landfill or transformation facility, a composting facility, a digestion facility, a transfer/processing facility, and/or a fully permitted chip and grind operation. While it may seem time consuming, taking careful precautions when arranging your marijuana disposal will keep you compliant and profitable.

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