Compliance

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CannTrust continues its fight to remain in the industry following a set of violations that nearly sank the company, according to BNN Bloomberg.

Initially, CannTrust’s situation seemed untenable. But when Bonify – a company known for allowing massive amounts of illegal cannabis into its supply – regained its license, CannTrust’s case actually has a fighting chance.

After months of investigation and internal changes, CannTrust submitted a remediation plan to Health Canada, aiming to meet all compliance requirements in the coming months.

 

Aiming for First Quarter 2020

 

CannTrust’s license was suspended in September. But rather than make gradual progress to improve operations, Health Canada discovered additional violations as time went on.

But after months of treading water, CannTrust has regrouped and intends to push forward. BNN Bloomberg explains:

 

“CannTrust Holdings Inc. has submitted a remediation plan to Health Canada as part of its efforts to regain the regulator’s trust and return to compliance. The embattled cannabis producer says it’s aiming to complete all of the activities detailed within the plan by the end of the first quarter of next year, according to a release late Thursday.”

 

CannTrust has a lot of work ahead of them in the coming months. With issues like illegal grow rooms, poor labour practices, black market seeds, security flaws and deliberate attempts to withhold information from Health Canada, the company has built up quite a rap sheet since July.

 

No Specific Details

 

CannTrust’s specific steps have not been publicly announced. However, they do give a general idea as to what the plan entails.

The company says their plan includes:

 

“…an expanded internal training program, a strengthened governance and operations framework, infrastructure enhancements, and prescribed accountabilities and timelines for a variety of specified tasks.”

 

From what we can glean, the plan is highly focused on efficiency, compliance, facility enhancements and training – all of which were lacking prior to CannTrust’s suspension.

Although we are kept guessing about whether CannTrust will succeed, interim CEO Robert Marcovitch is optimistic, saying:

 

“CannTrust is confident that its remediation plan addresses all the compliance issues identified by Health Canada.”

However, not everyone shares Marcovitch’s optimism. Derek Dlay, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity believes CannTrust is on the right track, but also adds:

 

“Having said that, there is still significant uncertainty whether CannTrust will eventually achieve full compliance in the near term.”

 

Realistically, only CannTrust knows how much legwork is ahead of them. Those of us on the outside can only speculate.

 

Massive Layoffs

 

Unfortunately – albeit unsurprisingly – CannTrust was forced to scale back its workforce. In September, the company laid off 180 workers. Now, another 140 are joining them in order to save money in the interim.

CannTrust says these layoffs will save them $400,000 per month in labour costs. However, they need to rehire these employees within 35 weeks, or the total severance will be $880,000.

Marcovitch is not happy with the situation, but admits that it is necessary in order to reflect the company’s current sustainability. He explains:

 

“This was a difficult decision, but it is imperative that our workforce reflects the current requirements of our business. Reducing [CannTrust’s] current operating expenses supports our financial sustainability, and places us in the best position to fully resume production upon the reinstatement of our [licences]. We look forward to rehiring at that time.”

 

 

WeedAdvisor’s Compliance Solutions

 

Out of all the errors producers, distributors or retailers can make, non-compliance is arguably one of the most egregious. Whether accidental or intentional, the consequences may amount to millions in fines, lost productivity and severe loss of public trust.

WeedAdvisor understands the critical balance required to ensure compliance, which is why one of our many business solutions include key functions like inventory tracking, real-time data, safety monitoring, reporting and more.

We help our clients remain compliant in a seamless, automated fashion, so they can focus on providing the best products possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Despite having several years and a large market, California’s legal cannabis industry is struggling. High taxes and fees drive up prices, while the majority of municipalities banned dispensaries entirely.

Consequently, consumers are faced with the impact of overpriced cannabis and the inconvenience of having to travel long distances for legal marijuana. This often leads them back to the black market.

But despite lawmakers once again forcing their own views onto the public, the Los Angeles Times demonstrates those views are not shared by constituents.

 

Increased Support

 

Even though the legal market proved to be a catastrophic failure (through no fault of its own), support for legalization has not been hit. In fact, it is higher than ever.

Most consumers want to see legal dispensaries in their areas, yet most municipalities decided against it.

The Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies conducted a poll at the Los Angeles Times’ request. The results were staggering:

 

“According to the poll, 68% of Californians say legalization has been a good thing for the state, an increase in support since 2016, when 57% of voters approved Proposition 64, which legalized growing, selling and possessing cannabis for recreational use. The poll results come as city and state leaders are battling in court and the Legislature over control of California’s pot market, including a dispute over efforts by California lawmakers to force cities to open their doors to cannabis shops.”

 

This alone should be enough to make lawmakers change their stance – at least to garner public support in the next election. But so far, opponents and supporters continue fighting ferociously while the black market exploits the situation.

 

A Massive Market

 

Increasing access to legal marijuana in California is absolutely essential. Not only is it important for fighting the black market, but it also means huge revenue opportunities.

According to the Los Angeles Times:

 

“California has emerged as the largest market for legal marijuana in the world, on track to post $3.1 billion in licensed cannabis sales this year. But that remains dwarfed by the black market, and revenue has fallen far short of expectations.”

 

While industry leaders blame licensing regulations and taxes for increasing cannabis prices by up to 45%, retailers also blame the cities.

About 75% of California’s municipalities banned recreational cannabis dispensaries.

 

Universal Support

 

Naturally, individual support varies from one city to the next. But the aforementioned poll showed that not a single municipality had a majority opposition.

The strongest number in favour of cannabis shops was in Los Angeles, at 69%. The lowest was at the Inland Empire region, at 57%.

Lindsey Robinson, Executive Director of the California Cannabis Industry Association, believes that this alone should be a wake-up call for lawmakers. She says:

 

“With this broad spectrum of support, it is critical that California’s local municipalities honor the will of the voters, overturn their bans, and give their constituents access to tested and regulated cannabis.”

 

But despite popular support, opposition is fierce among both opponents and politicians, who will double down rather than listen to the public.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Business Solutions

 

Although resistance is strong, we feel that – if history is any indication – the wall against cannabis expansion will eventually crumble. When that happens, we want to be active members of a newly successful Californian cannabis industry.

As new retailers open their doors, our solutions will help keep the stores running smoothly and efficiently. Services like POS, reward systems, compliance, inventory tracking and reporting are just a few services that our products handle.

We look forward to partnering with clients throughout the U.S. to make their journeys into the cannabis industry as convenient as possible.