As more states continue to legalize cannabis, and with federal legality underway, dispensaries are becoming a normal business to see on the side of the road. From the products that they sell to the signage that gets posted in and around the store, there is so much that goes into running a dispensary, including how well the employees and staff are trained.
Achieving Compliance in a Difficult Industry
The complexity of cannabis regulation requires sophisticated learning and compliance management tools to reinforce safety and risk prevention in the flow of work. Since cannabis is not federally legal, regulations are constantly changing on a state-by-state basis, and if you sell outside of your state, then there is even more work to be done. This is where Rootwurks comes in, offering employees access to all different types of information when and where they need it.
“We are a learning experience platform, and we like to think of it as where education and compliance meet,” Chase Eastman, CEO and Founder of Rootwurks, said. “We are building out a series of educational resources intended to help the frontline employees have access to the information whenever and wherever they need it, and supervisors can easily verify and validate that their teams have been trained and that they are executing the various tasks with their training correctly. We are helping organizations achieve a compliant operation in an industry that is difficult.”
There are so many different things to keep track of when operating a cannabis business. Here are just some of the touchpoints that owners need to be aware of on a daily basis:
- Changing Regulations.
This is the biggest factor for running a cannabis business since it is not federally legalized yet. The challenge is that different states within the U.S., as well as different countries, have varying laws applying to the legality, use, distribution, and growth of cannabis.
- Rising Interest Rates.
Due to their precarious legal status, cannabis companies do not have access to banking services that many other organizations enjoy. This makes raising capital harder and increases its cost. Low interest rates, however, have made those costs relatively cheaper in recent years, but that is about to change. The industry may face increasing challenges in 2022 after the Federal Reserve signaled plans to raise interest rates three times by the end of next year.
- Strict Packaging Laws.
Each state has their own packaging laws, many of which require labels to have specific warnings and information that consumers can view before making a purchase. All employees should always be caught up with the latest rules to ensure no mistakes get by them, allowing your company to avoid fines.
- Marketing challenges.
Not only is it difficult to market your cannabis brand online, but most states that have legalized marijuana also do not allow you to place promotional signage around your store. This can even mean window displays.
- Purity and Potency Testing.
Manufacturers must undergo rigorous product testing to ensure heavy metals, pesticides, and other harmful chemicals are not in the end-product. Since the industry is unregulated, there is no organization overlooking every company’s shoulder and making sure they are doing all of the proper testing, so it is important that both you and your staff understand what to look for when ordering new merchandise so that you give your customers the best of the best.
Making Resources Available to Small Dispensaries
Especially as a smaller dispensary who is still new to the market, you may be wondering how, or even if, you could afford this kind of education and training. The goal of Rootwurks is to provide companies of all sizes with world-class resources in order to ensure your workforce is fully prepared for all of the strict and often confounding demands of cannabis regulation. Even though not all of the solutions they offer are best suited for small businesses, the company has still built a tremendous amount with the little guys in mind.
“This is where part of the ecommerce marketplace will come into play in Phase 2 of our launch, so businesses can just buy what they need,” Eastman said. “They can just buy four courses for however many employees, which can really help them to control their costs. As we get into the market and work with more customers, we want to have an actual premium component where we allow users to benefit from expertise and other important general education with an awareness of space. We are going to work with some of our early stage customers to figure out what actually provides value for them, and then go from there.”
Having just launched in early May of 2022, Rootwurks is still getting their feet wet and figuring out the best ways to help cannabis dispensaries. So far, the feedback from users have been very positive, and they continue to evolve as new problems in the industry arise and discover how their customers want to be helped. In Q1 of next year, they will launch the second phase of their offering, which will include virtual classroom opportunities and more affordable options for smaller businesses.