September 26, 2016
10 THINGS I know about...

Pot compliance

10) Nothing hazy about the laws

Marijuana (or cannabis) is one of the most highly regulated industries in the world, and Massachusetts has the strictest rules governing its production, retailing, grow, testing and security operations.

9) You can be raided.

Marijuana businesses must comply with federal, state, city and county regulations and requirements. Despite medical-use legality in the commonwealth, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency can raid a registered dispensary at will since the plant is classified Schedule I, illegal at the federal level. Insurers have lined up to offer raid insurance.

8) Schedule 1 defined

Despite university research proving its medicinal benefits, pot is still classified Schedule 1, defined as "drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse." Other Schedule 1 drugs include heroin, LSD and ecstasy.

7) Banking on smoke

Although difficult to find, more than 300 state banks and credit unions are banking marijuana businesses. In 2015, marijuana sales exceeded $5 billion.

6) Roll your own democracy.

Currently four states (Colorado, Alaska, Oregon and Washington) have made the drug legal for recreational use and 24 more states say that it can be used for medical purposes. Eight states including Massachusetts will consider various forms of marijuana legalization in ballots this November. The Democratic Party endorsed a pathway to legalization and a rescheduling of marijuana to a Schedule II substance.

5) The top dispensary infraction

All marijuana product/inventory is not being reconciled daily to account for all variances.

4) The top cultivation infraction

The facility is missing required information in its standard operating procedures.

3. The top edibles infraction

The facility does not have all required permits required for operation.

2. Rolling organic

Colorado has recalled more than 100,000 marijuana edibles due to prohibited pesticide use. Massachusetts requires organically grown pot.

1) Full compliance

Marijuana business operations must comply with federal agency rules, even though cannabis firms are not federally supported

Michelle Drolet is CEO of Towerwall, a data security services provider in Framingham. You may reach her at michelled@towerwall.com.

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