Chris DeWildt

May 15, 2019 7 min read
May 15, 2019
7 min read

Cannabis Industry Safety Standards: Would You Be Compliant If It Were Legalized Tomorrow?

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Legalization will mean a massive economic shift for the U.S. However, it will come with some heavy regulation regarding cannabis industry safety standards.


The following is an article produced by a contributing author. Growers Network does not endorse nor evaluate the claims of our contributors, nor do they influence our editorial process. We thank our contributors for their time and effort so we can continue our exclusive Growers Spotlight service.


It’s no secret that, as time goes on, we become closer to federal cannabis legalization than we’ve ever been before. With so many states seeing monumental benefits to the growing medical and recreational cannabis industries, it’s only a matter of time before lawmakers decide to go all-in on a growing industry.

Legalization will mean a massive economic shift for the U.S. However, it will come with some heavy regulation—especially in the beginning. Many current grow operation owners and workers may come to find that they’ll need to make changes in order to comply with an industry that has the potential to change seemingly overnight. If that were to happen, would you be compliant with cannabis industry safety standards? Here’s a couple of things to consider:

Insurance

Right now there aren’t any type of specialized insurance requirements in the cannabis industry. However, experts have suggested that because there is a strong necessity for specialized insurance, we can expect a system to be put in place as soon as it becomes federally legal. Once that happens, insurance on cannabis-related businesses will become mandatory, rather than beneficial. Growers can get ahead of this curve by estimating a budget for such a thing once it becomes available.

Because the laws surrounding cannabis are still so new, estimating the liability and risks involved with the industry remains fairly uncharted territory. Cannabis growers can help progress the cannabis insurance industry by promoting things like workers rights, proper labeling of cannabis products, and other things that can reduce the risks involved with owning and operating a cannabis related business.

The National Association for Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) spells out why insurance is such an issue here: Cannabis And Insurance


Employee Health & Safety

Employee health and safety is the major topic that remains mostly overlooked by the industry as a whole. Growers are regularly exposed to potentially harmful chemicals and radiation from grow lights (or outdoor grow operations). This increases their risks of developing chronic illnesses like lung diseases from breathing in chemicals, or even melanoma cancer from exposure to radiation.

Getting ahead of the curve when it comes to employee health and safety will help push the cannabis industry further into the mainstream. When employers offer resources to their employees that help them keep their mental and physical health in-order, it shows that the cannabis industry is thinking long-term, establishing themselves as a legitimate business. Offering things like health insurance, access to health education resources, and products to assure safety is a priority at work will make a major difference.

Your employees’ safety is no joke.

For example, RayWear’s patented protective clothing will assure that workers are protected from exposure to harmful radiation caused by the sun and/or grow lights. Most sun protection products on the market only protect against UVA/B rays, but IR and Visible rays can be just as, if not more damaging, despite their lack of physical presence on the body. You may not get a sunburn from grow lights, but they are still producing massive amounts of light radiation that your body is absorbing. RayWear offers the only product on the market that will protect against all three types of radiation, making it an essential component to cannabis industry safety standards, alongside things like eyewear and protective shoes. Protecting your workers’ health today is not only the right thing to do but will save you from a potentially devastating lawsuit tomorrow.

You can get your team protected here.


Banking

One of the biggest, most alarming issues with the current state of the cannabis industry is its lack of banking options for legal grow operations and dispensaries. Because cannabis isn’t federally legal, banks are limited in their options with the industries financial side. Once it’s federally legalized, however, growers can expect that to rapidly change. Where you can get ahead on your end is by tracking business expenses as if your business were already federally legal. This will make it easier to achieve compliance and avoid any future issues with the IRS. It may be a good idea to hire an accountant to do things like track expenses, monitor income, and make any necessary changes in order to migrate into a new system in the future. CNN lays out the current banking reality in this article.


Labeling Standards

Most dispensaries have already learned this the hard way, but FDA compliant labeling standards are changing almost as rapidly as the industry itself. This makes it frustrating for companies that comply with one set of standards on a set of products, only to have to rapidly sell those items on markdown because the government has issued new standards for labeling. While there’s no right way to tackle this issue beforehand, the best way to avoid having to get rid of inventory that doesn’t comply with labeling standards is to keep in mind that it could change any day. Always make sure your business is labeling products according to current standards, and make sure you’re not biting off more than you can chew by ordering too much of one product. The team over at Canna Law Blog had a wonderful article on this topic.


Growers Network would like to thank Julia Sachs and Cannabis 420 Digital for the blog contribution. What did you think? Are you going to be compliant when cannabis inevitably goes legal? Join our forums by clicking one of the “Join Now” buttons on this page and start a conversation. See you there!


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About the Author

Julia Sachs is a writer and content strategist based in Park City Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in English and is published around the blogosphere.