emergency regulations

Puff in The Time of Corona: Emergency Regulations and CDC Audits

If you’re in the cannabis space right now, we’re sure you know that your operating requirements are rapidly and regularly changing– even day-to-day. Leafly is doing a great job of keeping up on which states are allowing dispensaries to stay open and which ones are allowed to deliver. But most governments are doing much more than picking-and-choosing which businesses are essential; nearly every state we cover has issued emergency regulations that are specifically targeted to cannabis businesses…and that’s where we come in. Our team has pulled together an overview of which state agencies (and certain localities) have issued emergency regulations affecting the industry that we are updating in real-time. And for every jurisdiction in that overview, we’re making real-time changes to our audit content and SOP templates.

Using Colorado as an example, we first had to update requirements when Governor Polis issued an executive order that allowed all dispensaries to offer curbside pickup and internet sales on March 20. Then, later that day, we had to update them again because the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) issued emergency regulations that elaborated on Polis’ order by requiring internet sales to be a pre-order where the transaction is still completed in the restricted-access sales area. But then, Polis issued another executive order accompanied by a public health order, which banned any customers from entering a dispensary for retail marijuana, so the MED had to issue a bulletin clarifying that the orders nullified a number of the emergency regulations they had just released. This meant we had to update the requirements AGAIN. This all happened within the span of a week, and we’re currently crossing our fingers that this is the last emergency change they’ll throw at us for a while… Update: Just hours before posting this blog, the MED issued yet another stinking bulletin!

Did that give you a headache? Well, luckily, our genius regulatory analysts handled that headache for you. We’re happy to be your acetaminophen for now (remember, other headache pills like ibuprofen might worsen the symptoms of COVID-19!), and we condensed that complicated mess into approximately 30 yes-or-no questions you can run through in order to ensure your new extreme socially-distanced operations are compliant with the new requirements. And if your state or locality made any emergency changes to their cannabis regulations, we caught those too!

So far, we have made updates in California, Colorado, Nevada, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, Oregon, New York, Pennsylvania, Palm Springs, Santa Rosa, San Diego, Sonoma County, Cloverdale, Sebastopol, Humboldt County, Mendocino County, Reno, Rio Dell, Arcata, and Denver! While implementing these updates, we noticed a theme among most of these emergency requirements…

More Emergency Regulations: Introducing Simplifya’s First Federal Audit Content!

We noticed that a lot of the emergency regulations either mandated compliance with the CDC’s Guidelines for COVID-19 or at least strongly recommended them. While analyzing the CDC Guidelines, we also discovered that those guidelines incorporate OSHA’s guidelines (we’ve learned there’s always one more rabbit hole when you’re doing compliance). At Simplifya, we weren’t feeling like copying all those guidelines into every state’s update (work smarter, not harder), so we decided to develop and make an audit covering the CDC and OSHA guidelines available to all of our clients! Now, even if you’re not in a jurisdiction where it’s required (yet), you can still run an audit using the federal law designation. 

We would strongly recommend running the audit even if it’s not mandated in your jurisdiction. Your patients and customers will feel much safer purchasing your products when they can rely on you to maintain a clean and safe environment! While you run your new audits, we’ll still be monitoring and updating to make sure you stay compliant. Stay safe out there!

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