How to Build a Compliant Foundation for Your Newly Licensed Cannabis Business

May 23, 2024
June 14, 2022
| Updated
May 23, 2024

Congratulations on receiving your cannabis license!

The path to building a strong foundation involves multiple steps that you must complete in a timely manner. In this blog post we cover three of these steps that you should undertake right away upon receiving your license to ensure the best possible outcome for your business, including:

  1. Getting organized
  2. Hiring the right personnel
  3. Standardizing your operating procedures

Stay Organized with A Calendar and Tasks

The first step to building a strong business is to become organized. Cannabis compliance involves many deadlines that can be difficult to track if they aren’t centralized. Licensed businesses need to manage tax updates, regulatory renewals, and expiration dates alongside their standard operations. The easiest way to keep track of them all is to use a calendar where you can log all upcoming deadlines and tasks you need to complete to hit those deadlines.

Second, segregating your calendar by the different functions of your business (cultivation, manufacturing, distribution etc.) will give you better control and oversight of your various operations while ensuring deadlines are met for each license type.

Beyond tasks, you can also use a dynamic calendar to plan your cultivation timelines, manufacturing schedules and distribution delivery dates. It’s recommended that you view all key tasks in a timeline / calendar view to ensure the personnel needed to do them aren’t spread too thin to accomplish them on time.

Hiring a Compliance Manager

Now that you know when and what you need to do in order to remain compliant, it’s time to find someone to oversee it. For this reason, we strongly recommend working with a dedicated compliance manager who’ll get into the nitty gritty of each requirement to ensure it is achieved in a timely and cost-effective manner.

A compliance officer will take the necessary steps on a daily basis to make sure your business is compliant according to state and local codes. Metrc is the most commonly used statewide seed-to-sale compliance system for cannabis. Using a system like Metrc is often a time consuming process and requires a deep attention to detail. Every action taken or change in inventory for your cannabis products needs to be reflected on these compliance systems. It's better to have one Metrc manager that can dedicate their full time and attention to compliance than it is to split the burden amongst the rest of your team.

Standardize Your Operating Procedures

One of the best ways to stay compliant is to standardize your workflows and procedures for your team. Creating department-specific SOPs and training your team to work through these SOPs will substantially decrease the probability of being in violation with regulatory requirements. It'll also allow for faster onboarding as your business develops and teams expand.

Another tip for staying organized is to create a standard process for your labeling. Labeling your pre-processed and final cannabis goods helps track your products, regardless of whose hands it's passing through in your facility. Make sure your labels are detailed and descriptive, so that anyone in your business can understand what they're working with.

Operating in compliance is a non-stop endeavor and one that requires constant attention to detail as the team grows and regulations / requirements evolve. One person (ideally your compliance officer) should be on top of these evolving regulations so they’re fully accountable for ensuring the organization stays compliant. Having worked with hundreds of cannabis companies we can say this is a critical step that can’t be overlooked. As company owners, you will have too much on your plate to stay on top of this, so look to appoint a compliance officer to manage this process.

These are just a few ways to help stay compliant with your new cannabis business. Overall, finding ways to stay organized and streamline your workflow will greatly benefit your cannabis business in the long run. An easy way to stay organized and save time is by using a cannabis-specific ERP system.

A Solution for Cannabis Compliance

Distru helps manage all your cannabis & non-cannabis inventory, organizes your distribution & manufacturing workflows and keeps you Metrc compliant by syncing with Metrc's system instantly with every action you take.

Another compliance advantage is having all your information in place: reducing double entries and organizing record keeping decreases the chance of compliance issues occurring. You can easily stay on top of everything in your business, using our built in calendar, cannabis product assemblies, and label maker.

Reach out to us if you're a cannabis distributor or processor and let's chat about how we can help you today!

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