It’s been two months since California legalized recreational marijuana and licensed cannabis retailers around the State have opened their doors to adult-use clientele. While many have marijuana businesses have been disheartened by the rate in which licenses are being issued, recreational sales have been better than expected.
As the Bureau of Cannabis Control begins to crack down on marijuana retailers that are attempting to operate outside of the law, licensed businesses can also expect dispensary compliance inspections. It’s important for licensed cannabis retailers to prepare for dispensary compliance inspections to avoid being cited for violations or infractions.
In this article, we’ll suggest a few ways in which cannabis retailers can prepare their staff and business for an unexpected compliance inspection.
One of the first things that inspection agent will be looking for is your dispensary business license for either medical or adult-use or both. State regulations require retailers to prominently display their license so that it is visible from the exterior of the storefront. Ensuring that agents see your business license before even entering your retailer to conduct dispensary compliance inspections will set a strong precedent.
All cannabis retailers need to be aware that BCC inspection agents are allowed to use underage decoys to ensure that dispensaries are verifying the age of every customer. Receptionists that are responsible for checking in new or existing patients must validate that all adult-use customers are 21+ and acquire medical patients doctor’s recommendation. Training dispensary staff to solicit proof of age or medical condition from every walk-in is essential to maintaining compliance.
Providing sales and inventory records to during dispensary compliance inspections is required by law. It’s important to note that cannabis retailers must keep sales records for seven years before they can be discarded. Keeping inventory and sales records readily available will save time and stress if an inspection agent decides to audit your business. Utilizing your dispensary software to keep track of these records will be a life saver in the event of an inspection.
Another area of compliance that will be assessed during inspection is the packaging and labelling of all cannabis. All marijuana products must be in childproof packaging that comes directly from the licensed distributor. Regulations also stipulate that cannabis labeling must include specific information such as the weight, name, THC levels and a safety notice. If your dispensary is not receiving inventory from a licensed distributor, you could be subject to fines or fees from the BCC.
Establishing limited access areas for retail employees and authorized vendors or contractors to do business is necessary for compliance. Dispensary employees must keep an accurate log of anyone who is not on staff who is conducting business in the limited access area and this log must be made available to inspection agents. An employee must always accompany authorized vendors in and out, and no one under the age of 21 is permitted in these areas.
One of the most integral parts of compliance is maintaining high standards of security at your cannabis retailer. When agents are conducting dispensary compliance inspections they’ll want to see an advanced video surveillance system capable of being accessed via the internet. Dispensary security is paramount and ameras must be placed in limited access areas, entrances and exits, on the sales floor, in security rooms, and anywhere cannabis is weighed, packed, stored, loaded, or unloaded. Recordings must be kept for 90 days before deletion and record continuously 24 hours a day and at a minimum of 15 frames per second.
Staying prepared for an unanticipated dispensary compliance inspection will help cannabis retailers avoid violations and costly fines. Licensed dispensaries can simplify compliance and reporting by using advanced cannabis software such as IndicaOnline. Schedule a free demo to discover the many ways your business can benefit from our innovative POS system.