Rob McEvoy at GreenCulturED

Before joining the Shift Cannabis Co. executive team, Executive Principal and Primary Controller Rob McEvoy worked in the healthcare and education sectors specializing in compliance auditing, records management, documentation transparency, and pharmaceutical technology curriculum development.  Aside from his position with Shift Cannabis Co., Mr. McEvoy has also authored a state training compliance course and sits on the advisory board for GreenCulturED, an online cannabis college offering comprehensive coursework, certification programs, and consulting services.

GreenCulturED State Training Coursework

The Cannabis Classroom: Container Compliance and Pot Packaging Practices by: Rob McEvoy

Navigating the standards of medical marijuana labeling, packaging, and product safety can be difficult and frustrating.  While many of the regulations seemingly read the same, each one is in fact different and unique to the various cannabis facilities involved in the packaging and labeling process.  To complicate practical comprehension of this process even more is the emerging cottage industry of container manufacturers, various social media platforms, and perpetuated misinformation by cannabis professionals who have not done their due diligence when it comes to compliance education.

Day by day and state by state, the cannabis industry is progressively changing the politics of how marijuana is viewed and regulated.  From the cultivation and refining process to point of sale practices, cannabis businesses are responsible for adhering to state rules and ensuring marijuana product safety within their communities.  Young children, beloved pets, and those with hypersensitivities or potential allergies to marijuana have the right to be effectively protected from adverse health events related to accidental marijuana consumption or exposure.  To this end, how marijuana and its related products are packaged and labeled are integral to not only the public’s wellbeing, but also any cannabis company’s professional image.

Owner/operators and employees of marijuana cultivation facilities, marijuana products manufacturing companies, and recreational marijuana stores all take on the responsibility of comprehensive education and consumer awareness.  Through proactive investigation and conscientious implementation, cannabis businesses are able to invest with confidence, operate with profitability, and remain committed to providing their customers with high quality products without compromising on safety.  Understanding the language of the law and creating compliance transparency with state cannabis enforcement agencies promotes an open dialogue between cannabis business owners, regulators, and perhaps most importantly, the public at large.  Marijuana packaging options, labeling preferences, and product security measures concern all those participating in the cannabis industry, and it is through dynamic education and training that success is established.  Without a strong knowledge base to build upon, the goals of these individuals and groups generally do not come to fruition, leaving business doors closed and customers searching for new cash registers to deposit their dollars. Who can cut through the red tape?  What information outlets are credible?  Where does marijuana policy come from?  When should product research and development begin?  Why is packaging and labeling important?  How do businesses instill best practices?  Whether you are an individual or a group, the approach taken in acclimating successfully to a new industry such as the marijuana market remains the same – through education comes empowerment, and from empowerment comes earning potential.  Packaging, labeling, and product safety measures cost money and come with choices.  Making an informed decision on how money is spent is up to the cannabis business, and as in all other commercial industries, when it comes to non-compliance, ignorance is not an excuse.  Enforcement agencies do not, and for the foreseeable future, will not endorse a specific package or container.  This strategy ensures that the state regulatory boards remain in control of the cannabis industry, with the power to discern and discriminate against marijuana business practices deemed insufficient.  To counter this absolute power, marijuana businesses should focus on educating, training, and internal quality assurance to not only meet the legal threshold, but exceed it.

The future for cannabis industry rule makers, entrepreneurs, patients, and customers is one of continual evaluation, careful revision, and concise execution.  Colorado’s laws and enforcement practices are under the microscope both locally and nationally not just for efficacy, but for guidance as well.  With more and more ballot initiatives and public opinion polls showing support for medical and recreational marijuana, investors, owner/operators, employees, and industry professionals need to practice prudency and in-depth analysis when it comes to one of the strictest facets of retail cannabis operations.  The packaging, labeling, and product safety of marijuana and its derivatives is a top priority across the country from house legislatures to company boardrooms to consumer couches.  Colorado may have been the first state to pass sensible marijuana reform, but it certainly will not be the last.

Rob McEvoy is an Executive Principal and the Primary Controller for Shift Cannabis Co.  Shift Cannabis Co. is a Colorado-based consulting firm involved in all core areas of the cannabis industry including business services, management counseling, network building, as well as financial investment and capitalization.  Mr. McEvoy has worked with developing, supervising, and implementing operational auditing, organization, and training for large-scale cultivation facilities and retail entities to bring them to the forefront of the nation’s cannabis industry.

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