Operating a successful and legal dispensary is only possible by remaining compliant with state laws.These laws are stricter than alcohol regulations for distributors, and the amount of rules are causing dispensaries to make mistakes. Here are the ten most common areas where dispensaries fail.
#1 Lax Inventory Control
If you don’t want your dispensary to be slapped with a hefty fine, you need to make sure that you can account for every single bud that passes through your doors. Proper inventory management is absolutely critical.
Maybe your budtender counted the stock wrong. Perhaps the cashier rang up ounces of Blue Dream when the customer was actually buying Orange Tang. Carelessness can easily lead to discrepancies in your inventory log.
#2 Failure to be Properly Licensed
An out-of-date license will ruin your dispensary.
Bold criminals have taken to completely ignoring state rules and opening dispensaries without bothering to apply for a license. Choosing this route could lead to criminal prosecution.
“If you’re not licensed, you should shut down or be shut down,” Adam Spiker, executive director of cannabis group the Southern California Coalition, told the Los Angeles Times (2).
#3 Ignoring Patient Purchasing Limits
Nobody is allowed to walk out of a dispensary carrying a pound of cannabis. The amount that a customer can legally purchase is limited. Dispensaries that fail to accurately track their sales and oversell to their customers risk being cited by the state.
#4 Reporting Taxes Incorrectly
Politicians are falling in love with legalized cannabis because of the potential tax gains. Recreational customers pay a large sales tax when they purchase their buds from a dispensary. Ignoring the new tax requirements is a problem that many stores have been guilty of.
#5 Illegal Sales to Minors
If there’s one rule that’s been drilled into the industry, it’s that adult use cannabis can not be sold to anyone under 21. Part of the reason why people were hesitant about legalizing recreational cannabis is that they were afraid minors might get their hands on products loaded with THC.
Luckily, this trap is easy to avoid. ID everyone.
#6 Lapses in Sales Reports
Cannabis dispensaries are required to report their sales. The frequency differs depending on the market. Take advantage of the sophisticated sales tracking software designed for the cannabis industry and you’ll have no issue remaining compliant.
#7 Delivery Driver Issues
Some states allow dispensaries to deliver their wares. You can’t simply grab a budtender and let him loose, however, the rules differ slightly by state. In general, the driver and the delivery car need to be registered as such.
“With unlicensed delivery, you don’t know who is showing up at your home or workplace. And you don’t know where your cannabis originated,” said Wendy Sollazzi, manager of the San Jose Police Department’s Division of Marijuana Control in California (3).
#8 Inadequate Public Safety Warnings
THC is a mind-altering substance. Cannabis products sold to the public must include a warning about the potential psychotropic effects.
#9 Security Problems
Most dispensaries have a robust security system for their own protection. However, in many states there are also security rules that dispensary owners need to pay attention. Surveillance cameras should be able to capture the entire premises with no blind spots.
#10 Testing Failures
All cannabis products that are legally sold must be tested for impurities and contaminants. Skipping this step could lead to your license being revoked.
The cannabis industry is still shaping itself. Dispensary owners, particularly those with locations in multiple states, may struggle to keep up with compliance laws because they vary greatly depending on which market you’re in. The good news however, is that the most common compliance problems can be solved with a little extra diligence.