Compliance is one of the thorniest aspects of the cannabis landscape to navigate. With each state having a host of extremely specific (and often confusing, sometimes even contradictory seeming) cannabis compliance demands, making sure you’re on the right side of the law can take up a major portion of dispensary owner / operators’ time. Fortunately, at least one state took note of how these challenges impact businesspeople and decided to do something about it. Here’s the scoop on Washington (WA) State’s new Cannabis Compliance Consultant Team, and what it might mean for those working in the Evergreen State.
Washington State’s New Task Force: A Helping Hand with Cannabis Compliance
Earlier this year, Washington State’s Liquor and Cannabis Board announced the rollout of the Cannabis Compliance Team. It’s a group of 11 consultants tasked with helping cannabis businesses achieve and maintain compliance.
It’s important to note that these consultants are not law enforcement officers, and they can’t issue violations. Rather, their role is to assist those in all aspects of the industry—from cannabis growers and processors to retailers, transporters and researchers—in conforming to applicable state laws.
What shape might this take? Consultant actions might include:
- Conducting final inspections and briefings as an educational tool to help you start out on the right foot in the legal cannabis industry.
- Setting up planned visits (termed “annual inspections” by the State) with cannabis licensees. Consultants will walk through licensees’ businesses in order to identify compliance gaps and make suggestions on how to correct them.
- Assist in trainings for staff members; topics might include “Responsible Cannabis Sales” or tips on reading state-issued IDs.
- Participate in industry association meetings. Consultants might discuss common problems or trends they see in the field; the goal is to foster large-scale compliance and consistency rather than on a case-by-case basis.
Each team member is tasked with covering a dedicated geographic region of the state; you can find your region and contact information for your dedicated consultant here.
Frankly, we’re thrilled that Washington State took the initiative to address the real-world challenges of compliance. It’s an important step on the road to a more functional, practical and consistent cannabis industry.