Insights

Cannabis Compliance Requires a Top-Down Approach

Gary Kaminsky, Director of Legal Compliance
Acreage Holdings
November 11, 2019

One of the biggest challenges facing US cannabis operators is establishing an effective compliance enterprise risk management system. It is not enough to simply have a titled officer with oversight responsibilities. Compliance has to be baked into every aspect of a cannabis business.

Cannabis is one of the most regulated industries in the history of this country. Name another product that is illegal federally but legal in 33 different states, each with its own regulatory scheme. And then, within each state, individual localities have their own rules and ordinances that, in some cases, conflict with state legislation mandates.

To add to the complexity, which federal laws apply depends on the percentage of THC – the psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis. If the plant tests below 0.3% in THC content, it is deemed ‘hemp’ and not subject to federal prohibition under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.

The landscape can be dizzying. The scrutiny the cannabis industry is under and the complexities of mitigating compliance lapses mandate for the establishment of a self-regulatory system of internal checks and balances.

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