Keeping Up With The Marijuana Enforcement Division
The Marijuana Enforcement Division, in conjunction with working groups and public comment, works year round to revise, change, and create the laws and regulations governing the Colorado cannabis industry. We often are made aware of these regulatory updates via industry wide bulletins, which cover topics like emergency rules, redline versions, statement of positions, and permanent rules among others.
It can quickly become overwhelming and feel nearly impossible to keep up with all of the frequently occurring changes within the regulatory framework. Regardless if you are simply responsible for compliance and operations of a smaller boutique shop or if you are the owner of a larger, corporate company, managing compliance for multiple types of licenses, it is vital to be able to adapt. Through that adaptation, many cannabis industry professionals have learned the significance of making small changes in their day to day operations.
For example, when ordering fulfillment supplies, such as labels, it may be beneficial to order smaller batches to be able to more efficiently adapt to the ever-changing language requirements on product labels. As professionals within the Colorado cannabis industry, we have acquired the conditioned ability to go with the flow without becoming too attached to any single procedure or product, particularly since we saw the intended use statement rules limit transfers on products such as nasal sprays and suppositories in July 2018. Overall, the ever changing laws can become considerably costly for any companies bottom line, and pose a persistent risk of infraction or fines if not kept up with.
On Friday, November 9 2018 at 7:36 pm, the MED sent out its statement of adoption of the permanent rules and regulations to take effect on January 1 2019. 53 days and counting. And if you didn’t check your email between 8pm Friday and 8am Monday…51 days. Regardless of which type of licenses or how many licences you hold it is certainly crunch time. Be proactive by calling your legal advisers, hiring a reputable compliance consultant, read through 280+ pages of rules to learn about the differences, because the redline version does not exactly match the permanent rules.
In my opinion this year brought major changes, to both the medical and recreational rules. 100+ subsections have been revised and there are 6 entirely new sections. Although most changes are similar between medical and recreational, some really big ones stand out. By July 1 2019, medical vertical integration will no longer plague the industry. We can now send our fibrous waste, stalks & stems, to be repurposed by a fibrous waste manufacturer. Colorado cannabis industry regulators finally realized that we need to be able to test our own products and implemented a manager sampling program for quality control and R&D for cultivation and manufacturing licenses.
Numerous, minor, changes are less noticeable but equally important to know. For example, the Marijuana Enforcement Division has officially clarified where on the plant the RFID tag must be located, which is to be attached to the bottom supporting branch, by the way.
So, is your brain ready to explode yet? Why am I telling you all of this? As a compliance consultant, and member of the regulated cannabis community since 2011, I think an obvious missing piece within this industry is the availability of reliable resources and a safe space to talk about compliance. We can pay lawyers thousands of dollars and hire a consultant, and then another one to fix the mistakes often left by previous consultants and we can also read every single law ourselves. In the end, we are all just pioneers navigating through this new industry, divided by our company sales goals and how deep our pockets really are.
Let’s come together to navigate these waters together.
I am happy to announce I am collaborating with 0420 Inc., to help bring the Colorado cannabis industry a truly one of a kind event. We will be hosting an open forum Q & A and panel discussion focused on the rule changes for 2019, which is geared toward any industry member who is interested in meeting like-minded people. This event will attract industry professionals who want to learn more about how to successfully dissect the 280 pages of revised regulations for the state of Colorado.
Click here to join our email list to receive more information about this upcoming, educational event scheduled to take place in January 2019.