Have you been contacted to schedule your “virtual” OMP inspection? If so, take a look at our fave fast five compliance tips to make sure you receive a finding of compliance on your next inspection.
1. Yes, TRIP TICKETS are still required.
Any time you are transporting marijuana from a facility to a qualifying patient or qualifying caregiver, it is important that it is accompanied by a “trip ticket.” A proper trip ticket is used for determining where marijuana is coming from, where it is going, who it is for, and who it is from.
Under the current rules, a trip ticket must contain at a minimum the following information:
- An identifier which clearly states the dispensary providing the product,
- The MMMP Patient number or another unique numeric identifier of the patient or caregiver,
- The product being transported,
- The amount of product,
- The form of the product,
- The time and date the product left the facility and
- The final destination of the product.
Make sure anytime you or one of your employees is transporting marijuana that the product contains one of these trip tickets, otherwise you may be violating a provision in the rules.
OMP issued a new Trip Ticket form with use being mandatory as of July 1, 2020.
2. EMPLOYEE PERSONNEL FILES are now a thing. A thing you have to have.
Every business must maintain records relating to their employees. This is not only good common business practice, but it also ensures you are following the regulations put in place by the Department. These files must remain confidential. Employee personnel files must contain:
- A copy of their current identification card and a copy of their driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID.
- Their employment application and associated required documents
- A documented verification of their references
- Documentation of background checks
- Their job description or employment contract
- Documentation of training, specifically including training regarding confidentiality
- Documentation of periodic performance evaluations
- Documentation of any disciplinary actions
- Documentation of any drug tests that were conducted.
3. RECORDS RETENTION – 7 YEARS! Seriously? Yes, seriously.
Along with employee files, businesses are also required to maintain business records for a minimum of 7 years. These business records should include records of transactions, acquisitions by the business, any records of samples taken and their results, disposal records for any product or byproduct disposed of, and a record of current patients.
It is also good practice to keep other records and certificates on hand indefinitely. These records include state and municipal permits for the sale, cultivation, manufacturing or testing of marijuana, sales certificates, any applicable food or beverage licenses, certificates of occupancy, pesticide licenses, or scale certifications.
4. WATCH THOSE PLANT COUNTS!
It is important to make sure that you do not have more plants than is currently allowed under the state law. The current law states that you may not have more than 30 mature plants, or 500 square feet of plant canopy. A “mature plant” means any flowering female plant.
Furthermore, you are not allowed to have more than 60 immature plants. An “immature plant” is one that means a nonflowering marijuana plant that measures more than 24 inches from the base of the main plant stalk to the most distant point of the plant’s leaf stems or branches.
You may have an unlimited number of “seedlings.” A “seedling” means a nonflowering marijuana plant or rooted cutting that measures 24 inches or less from the base of the main plant stalk to the most distant point of the plant’s leaf stems or branches.
There is good news! The department has recently issued guidance which states that facilities with greater than 30 plants or 500 square feet of plant canopy may expand their plant capacity if they pay the applicable fee. The Department requires a $240 fee for every 6 mature plants in excess of 30 plants.
5. ADVERTISING: No, you cannot sponsor a Little League baseball team.
Advertising is an important way to make your product stand out in this emerging market. The Department has issued important regulations regarding approved advertising methods and images. Your advertisements and packaging should meet the following requirements:
Advertisement and images may not be designed in a manner that is specifically designed to appeal particularly to a person under 21 years of age, such as cartoon characters or young adults. Furthermore, any image or portion of your logo may not obscure required identifying information on the packaging. Remember, no images of animals, fruits or humans on packaging or advertising.
This is important to take into consideration when looking at both your logos and your methods of advertising. Not only do you need to avoid using images that could attract children, but you must also minimize the chance that people under the age of 21 can access your product’s advertisements. This includes adding web filters to your website and to Instagram, Facebook and any other social media sites so that access is restricted to only those who verify that they are above the age of 21.
You should also consider the impact these regulations have on sponsorships or other ads. Cannabis companies may not sponsor children’s events such as a little league sports team, the school play or events that are likely to attract children. Better safe than sorry! The Maine Growers Alliance website, Maine Cannabis Chronicle, Weedmaps, Leafly and Maine’s tourism magazines are great options for advertising your brand.
Cohen Law Maine, LLC