The cannabis industry is one of the newest and most regulated industries in the world. Cannabis is in its infant stages, and it has never been more important to see a holistic and comprehensive view of what is happening at each business on a granular level. One fundamental way to gain understanding is by requiring Operators to report their activity every single day. While many have expressed the toll this takes on workforce and resources, it is far from the only industry to have reporting requirements.
The healthcare industry has more than five federal agencies that dictate who, what, when, and where reporting is mandated. The FDA (The Drug Supply Chain Security Act), DEA (Controlled Substance Act), CDC, NIOSH, and EPA (Resource Conservation Recovery Act) are just a few of the enforcers. The requirements include things like; knowing your customers, reporting suspicious activity, security and access control, record keeping, as well as transfer and disposal requirements- very similar to the cannabis industry’s regulations (who notably do not have any federal laws in place yet).
Imagine the infrastructure put in place at your local pharmacy to abide by each policy; Prescription tracking and validation software, customer identity policies, controlled substance tracking, hazardous waste disposal management, to name a few. Many states have additional, more stringent reporting requirements than the federal government, adding even more complexity. While they may take intensive training and manpower, they keep the public safe and encourage transparency for consumers and regulators alike.
As the cannabis industry grows over the next decade, we will likely see the implementation of federal enforcement and reporting obligations. Operators will have to build up their sophistication quickly and efficiently to remain in business. The states who are crafting law today will support the building blocks of what we will likely see in the future federal laws. It is more important than ever to track activity and trends for the industry as a whole AS WELL AS validate if the data being collected today is accurate and complete.
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