- What requirements should exist relating to the form and characteristics of grower/processor facilities?
Grower/processor facilities should be subject to regulations that address facility security, restricted access to the licensed premises, sanitary requirements, inspection by relevant departments, clear chain of custody proof for any departmental testing, packaging requirements and standards, humidity control standards so as to prevent mold and keep the integrity of the product, product safety, high resolution security cameras, offsite inspection of processing/extraction equipment, pesticide application licenses required by Department of Agriculture, pesticide spray logs, reasonable odor mitigation, inventory tracking, and off site video surveillance (DVR) with real-time access for facility managers, law enforcement, and regulators. Mandating that the video surveillance be kept for a reasonable time frame so that any issue that arises can be checked against other time periods. For visitors to facilities, a required check in with ID and giving of a “visitor” badge is common practice in other jurisdictions and has worked well. Additionally, a definition of “indoor, enclosed, secure facility” that includes the potential for greenhousing is advisable.
- What standards should exist relating to the vehicles and containers used to transport medical marijuana?
Transportation regulations should include designation of the persons authorized to transport medical marijuana, inventory manifest requirements, final weighing and packaging requirements prior to transport, requirements for labeling (such as batch#, and dates, etc.) requirements for sealed packages and containers, quality control inspection at the point of departure and delivery at licensed facilities, and product labeling and RFID tag requirements. Tamper evident tape on containers is advisable. A separate licensing class for either grower/processors or 3rd party delivery services to deliver product to dispensaries and do fulfillment must also be considered in order to ensure a steady and safe supply of medication.
- What standards should apply to inventory tracking systems?
Inventory tracking standards should include "seed-to-sale" regulation, designation of specific facility employees responsible for inventory tracking compliance, training for inventory system entry, RFID tags for product inventory, requirements for proper weighing of inventory and accurate scales, requirements for truthful and accurate reporting info tracking systems, and real-time access for regulators to tracking system data. We believe that a an RFP for seed to sale tracking system on a state level that would monitor the entire system would work well. Further, we believe that any company selected for such a program should have had success operating such a contract with a state in other jurisdictions. Ideally, the company would have a track record in multiple states, have a good reputation with those state governments, as the software system must work in order for the program to be operational.
- What security requirements should exist to prevent diversion of medical marijuana?
Security requirements to prevent diversion include a robust patient registration system, proper identification checking procedures at medical dispensaries, secure containers, tags that track plant count and movement, inventory tracking systems for documentation of all on-site product and transportation, prohibitions against unauthorized persons on the licensed premises, video surveillance requirements, and the highest regulatory enforcement priority for facilities that allow marijuana to leave the licensed system.
- What processes for recall and requirements should exist to ensure the safety of medical marijuana products?
Recall regulations should include the ability of state and local health departments to place product on administrative hold for imminent public health and safety risks, destruction of contaminated product when necessary, due process procedures for facilities with product on administrative hold, chain of custody requirements for departmental testing so as not to attribute the wrong test results to wrong facility, lab results on packaging, requirements for public announcements and social media notifications for facilities with contaminated product. Additionally, the state should advocate that insurance providers insure for recall provisions (there is currently one that does) so that operators can also be protected in the process.
- What requirements should exist relating to market activity (sale and acquisition of product) among and between growers/processors and dispensaries?
Market activity requirements should include production management limits, standards for transfer of product between licensed facilities, packaging and labeling requirements, transportation manifest requirements, and a taxation system for wholesale purchases of product. Grower/Processor licensees should be allowed and encouraged to have business/contractual relationships with dispensaries to ensure the reliable supply of medicine to patients.
- What specific advertising restrictions should be considered?
Advertising restrictions should include prohibitions on advertising designed to appeal to minors, verification that television, radio, print and internet advertising is targeted at adults, and the ability to reasonably advertise to potential patients and doctors in hospital facilities and medical systems. Trade or industry publications and outlets geared to an adult audience should be permissible.
- What requirements should exist relating to employment (associates, managers, and executives) by growers/processors?
Employment requirements should include individual licensing requirements for every person authorized to own, manage or work in a facility, photo identification badges issued by a regulatory agency, criminal background checks as a condition of licensure, and the ability of badged employees to work in multiple facilities. Additionally, employees should be offered protection against being discriminated against from getting loans, retirement plans, and benefits just because they work for a medical cannabis operation that falls outside the scope of federal law. We support diversity initiatives, job training programs, and would encourage hiring practices that take advantage of these inclusive and forward thinking ideas.
- What factors should be considered when evaluating applications for grower/processor permits?
Evaluation factors should be merit based, independently reviewed, and include factors such as the ability to provide capital, community support, financial history, tax compliance history, supporting corporate documents for business applicants, physical on-site facility disclosures, floor plans, security plans, odor mitigation plans, zoning and permitting eligibility, disclosure of ownership, criminal background checks, and prior licensing experience in other jurisdictions and/or experience with reputable consultants who are licensed in other states.
- What actions should be taken to ensure diversity and inclusion in medical marijuana operations?
The state should help create programs that do job training for underserved communities, continuing education, incentives for companies that value diversity in hiring procedures, and foster community outreach that includes social responsibility.