How to Prepare for an Inspection?

Stephen Andrews
09 Sep 2023

Nobody’s overly excited about inspections. When an inspector arrives at your dispensary, you might think that they will immediately know all of the problems in your small business. As if they have a third eye and a martian ability to probe people’s minds. In reality, the inspector is there to get an idea of your business and whether your cannabis dispensary is all set and ready for work.

One of the last steps in the long process of opening a cannabis dispensary is passing the state inspection. The inspection will inquire about various segments of your business, such as licensing , security matters, product inventory and storing, and compliance with state-level laws, among others. 

Preparing for a dispensary inspection requires a great attention to detail, because there is so much to be done. It’s good to have a checklist and write down all the things you need to cover ahead of the assessment. When the inspector arrives, it’s important to demonstrate your commitment to compliance and that, above all, you prioritize the safety of consumers. 

Below are six tips that can help you prepare for your upcoming dispensary inspection, and also that will get you in the loop of planning for all future audits.  

Prepare a Manual for Work

If you want to run a cannabis dispensary successfully, you do need to adopt a well-written manual for work or a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) document. This is where you can outline step-by-step instructions for each task, offering guidance for every member on your team. 

The doc should contain details about security protocols in your dispensary, inventory management, staff education and training, communications with customers, and all other important segments of your operation. Everything in the manual needs to be aligned with the law. It’s also good to review it routinely and implement updates following any changes in the state or local legislature. 

Attention to the Security Arrangement

The security detail is there to ensure a safe environment for both staff members and customers. In most states, customers have to check in with a receptionist or security personnel and show their ID before they can take a look at the marijuana products and make purchases. 

The security setup for your dispensary has to be well-defined ahead of the inspection. This will be one of the top priority questions the inspector will have. In addition to the security protocol, the dispensary has to have a system with surveillance cameras, alarms, and designated areas for secure storage and restricted access for employees only. It’s good to run tests of the whole security system before the inspection to ensure that all technology is working. 

Maintain an Inventory Control System

Documentation of all your inventory is something that every business does. Accurate inventory management is another critical aspect for passing an inspection in your cannabis dispensary. Maintain a functional inventory tracking system with settings for real-time monitoring and adjustments of stock levels. Assurances around inventory also include the ability to demonstrate that you have a secure procedure for deliveries, if this is also in the services offered by your company. 

Ensure Employees Pass Training 

Regardless if you have a small number of staff or big, another essential is that everyone on the team is well-clued about their tasks. Each employee has to have a thorough knowledge of state and local regulations. They need to know the security protocols and how to handle the inventory. They also need to be aware of responsible marijuana consumption. A well-informed team that can demonstrate compliance will leave a positive impression with any inspector. 

Self-audit the Facility 

Perhaps the most important thing to do while preparing for an inspection at your cannabis shop is to make checks and inspections yourself. Run through a checklist of all state and local requirements. Are all licenses and permits accessible? Is all in order with the product labels, such as the warning statement, date of sale, package ID, net weight, and other details. Is all the technology working, such as the ID scanner and the point-of-sale system? It doesn't hurt to make double-checks; it can save you from trouble with regulators or even paying hefty fines. 

Schedule Regular Internal Audits 

Last but not least, inspection is not something that happens only once and that’s it. In order to be prepared for next compliance check-ups, it’s important to regularly take care of all components in your business. It’s useful to schedule routine self-audits and keep detailed records of what happens at work. Stay in touch with your cannabis attorney, who can update you on important regulatory changes and quickly identify issues that need to be resolved at your company at any given time. 

Also read on Soft Secrets: 

When Can a Cannabis Lawyer Help? 

- Online Shops vs. Dispensaries

- Cannabis Dispensaries in the Metaverse 

Stephen Andrews