The Washington State Liquor Control Board was curious about the compliance of marijuana dispensaries in their state. So from May 15-18 they sent 18-20 year old investigative aides to buy marijuana from 22 different dispensaries and you must be at least 21. Four out of the 22 either did not check the IDs or did not notice the customers were too young.
18% noncompliance isn’t excellent, but it’s certainly better than your average black market drug dealer who usually sells to 100% of people who have the money. Some might say that this report is a black mark on the industry at large, but I say that this is an important step in the right direction. There would be no news story if a drug dealer sold pot to an 18 year old. The fact that this is a story is good news in itself.
It’s good news because this could be a wake up call to those in the industry. A dispensary owner might re-evaluate his business practices, especially in terms of employee development and training. Realizing that your business reputation can hinge on the conduct of your employees could spur you to train, develop and compensate your personnel in a way that reflects this fact. It’s a big responsibility and should be treated as such.
As a business leader, it is your job to manage your system. Employees work in the system and you make sure the system works. Employees are an important part of that system, maybe the most important part. We’re entering a new age of Marijuana industry and we have to do away with the bad habits of our black market past. Bad habits like not giving a fuck.
Certainly a committed business owner could create a system of employee training that would result in no mistakes like these. An important step is creating a consistency of purpose in your company. If everyone is working toward the same goal, then compliance will naturally follow. We’re all in the business of delivering products and services that have a market. But only the best will tirelessly improve their products and services in response to the market.
Achieving a state of quality control is good for your business because you can predict future outcomes, but a nice side effect of quality control is compliance. Instead of complaining about required testing and paperwork, commit your business to safety of customers, employees and the public. Taking steps to assure safety not only keeps you a step ahead of regulators but also helps the long term viability of your business.
An excellent way to start is with an independent quality audit of your systems, just one of the services we offer at Cannabis Quality Engineering. But the initial audit is just the beginning. Quality Control is not a state to be accomplished and checked off a list, it is rather an ongoing operation of the company. It is a scientific procedure that must be maintained or else the systems will slip into entropy. So you’ll get the best value for your money by keeping your quality consultant long term basis in order to maintain your quality system.