Cannabis Product Safety and Handling Practices for Operators 

Written by Jenny Germano

With all that is happening in the world currently and how the unknown is affecting all our businesses, Product Safety Practices is a timely topic. Also focusing on what is known, and ensuring that basic sanitation practices are being implemented is vital more than ever. In this blog, ICS Consulting is going to cover the follow topics in light of COVID-19, and how Licensed Cannabis Operations can continue to provide a clean work and retail environment through Health and Sanitation Practices.


Basic Hand Washing Practices

Unless you come from a healthcare or food service background, many do not know the proper way to wash their hands. Simply, the correct steps to washing your hands are:

  • Wet hands
  • Apply soap
  • Scrub for 20 seconds
  • Rinse
  • Dry

We recommend going over with your employees this procedure as well as making sure to keep your employee bathrooms stocked with soap, fresh paper towels and rubber gloves. 

When Should I Wash My Hands?

Whether COVID-19 exists or not, it is important to train your employees on when they should wash their hands. The following times are after:

  • Using the restroom
  • Handling raw meats/fish
  • Taking out the trash
  • Touching hair, face or body
  • Touching clothing or aprons
  • Sneezing, coughing or using a tissue
  • Handling chemicals
  • Cleaning dirty tables or dishes
  • Smoking
  • Eating or drinking
  • Handling money
  • Chewing gum or tobacco
  • Before and after wearing gloves to start a new task
  • Leaving and returning to food/product prep area
  • Touching animals
  • Touching cell phones and computers 
  • care hand contact with plants, dirt or fertilizers
  • Moping
     

When and What Should I Clean?

Below is a standard operation of procedures you can use for your business:

  • Clean all contact surfaces the general public and employees touch
  • Follow regular cleanings: open and closing procedures for store, grow and manufacturer 
  • Disinfect any contact surface a customer touches such as iPad for paying with credit card
  • Wipe down shared items such as door handles, iPad, keyboards, phones, pens and utensils
  • Dispensaries still allowing customers in the store should have someone cleaning contact surfaces every 15-30 minutes
  • Only clean and sanitize with EPA approved disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2
  • Wear rubber gloves when cleaning, properly remove gloves and throw away
  • Always wash your hands after cleaning any contact surfaces, even if you were wearing gloves.


Now is the time to update emergency procedures, health and sanitation plan and recall plan at your facility. Take the guidelines your state/city has issued and include them in your everyday cleaning procedures. 


Sick Employees

The state of Colorado already states that employees cannot come into contact with any cannabis related products while sick. Sick employees should not be coming into work, period. Make sure your employees are not showing symptoms throughout the work day in order to protect your other employees and customers.