In addition to the normal requirements for businesses to get up and running, those within the cannabis space have also begun pursuing compliance certifications. These certifications can be useful, but many may wonder whether they are strictly necessary.
To answer this question for yourself, you should first understand what they are and what purpose they are meant to serve.
What is a Cannabis Business Compliance Certification?
In the highly regulated cannabis industry, laws vary a lot by jurisdiction. Individual states within the US carry their own legal framework that organizations must follow in order to operate. At the federal level, legalities differ from those within cannabis-friendly states, causing even more confusion for those who want to keep their cannabis-related businesses above the board.
In response to the complex regulations around cannabis compliance, some companies and institutions have begun offering cannabis compliance certifications. These programs come in various forms and are intended to help businesses understand and prepare for regulatory requirements in the industry.
These programs, which often include key insights from industry experts, teach businesses how to smoothly enter the industry, scale operations, and remain compliant. Completing relevant coursework on the subject can give businesses a chance to learn from others in the space without falling into avoidable traps and pitfalls.
Some programs are available through universities, such as The University of Arizona, which offers a unique Business of Cannabis Certificate for those who complete the 24-week series of courses. ACCCE (the Association of Certified Commercial Cannabis Experts) offers another widely recognized alternative in the form of its Certified Commercial Cannabis Professional program. This option emphasizes risk management as a top priority for anyone looking to navigate such a highly regulated space.
Do You Need a Compliance Certification to Sell?
Although there is generally no requirement to get a 3rd party certification or university certificate to sell cannabis, you will definitely need to obtain a valid license from your state.
Once you have obtained a license to do business within the cannabis industry, you should expect the state to perform frequent compliance audits to ensure you’re abiding by all existing laws.
Unfortunately, the legal consequences of non-compliance can be particularly severe. Failure to comply with local laws can result in anything from substantial fines to license revocation and even full criminal charges.
Another possible repercussion is losing customers due to a damaged public reputation. In the event that a minor makes an illegal purchase from your business, for instance, parental outrage could leave a long-lasting stain on your brand name. A reputation for non-compliance and untrustworthiness can affect potential partnerships and business relationships, discouraging would-be partners from working with you.
Challenges to Cannabis Compliance
Complying with cannabis regulations is essential, but that does not make it easy to do. Simply requesting an ID from each customer before completing a sale is not enough anymore.
Fake IDs have become too advanced and sophisticated for human eyes to spot, making manual processing effectively useless. If your business intends to do business remotely or mostly online, the risks only increase.
Online customers can be especially difficult to verify as actual legal adults. Plus, individuals looking to pull off a scam or purchase more cannabis than they are legally allowed to possess may resort to using stolen IDs and other fraudulent information to get their way.
Advanced ID validation, such as Intellicheck, is a crucial part of maintaining compliance and protecting businesses from risks.
Protect Your Business
Intellicheck’s identity validation and age verification tools are ideal for companies in the cannabis industry that must abide by strict regulations to do business safely. Whether your company operates entirely online or conducts business in brick-and-mortar stores, Intellicheck’s tools for quick and easy ID validation can be of tremendous use.
Intellicheck offers comprehensive identity validation solutions for physical stores, digital stores, and everything in between. You can use your POS systems or a mobile device to scan IDs and get subsecond results with industry-leading accuracy. Schedule a demo today to learn what Intellicheck can do to help your cannabis company handle compliance.