Regulatory violations can be a serious problem for licensed businesses. Even a seemingly “technical” violation can result in major headache and substantial fines and penalties. Regulated businesses must maintain constant vigilance to ensure compliance.
In January, 2019, CCC investigators made an unannounced visit to Cultivate’s dispensary in Leicester because of some irregularities in the seed-to-sale tracking system. The Commission found three violations: (1) Investigators found retail products that were improperly labelled. Those products did not have all the required warnings (“Contains THC” and “Not Safe For Children”), batch ID numbers, dose and serving sizes; (2) Investigators discovered some plants that were not properly tagged or tracked (resulting in tracking irregularities), and (3) Cultivate failed to follow the Commission’s directions regarding posting the order about the first two violations in a public place (they put the order in the back office), which resulted in a third violation a few days later.
Cultivate remedied the problem, made sure all of their employees were Metrc trained, and paid a fine of $75,000.
In return, they got their product back and stayed in business.
But a $75,000 fine is not a trivial amount. And this was not a situation where there was any product missing, any contaminated product, nor were any consumers actually harmed. The lesson here is that full compliance is always a top priority for a cannabis related business.