Why Training in a Cannabis Operation Matters


On a national scale, cannabis legalization is rapidly increasing as more States and local municipalities want to get involved in the industry. Many States find themselves in different phases of legalization, the structuring and implementation of regulations and the overall growing pains a good percentage of the industry is currently facing with the ups and downs of the market. Operators are finding out they are not immune to the effects of the market, and how much it changes once they get through all of the licensing hurdles and they become operational. Once an operator becomes operational, there are a new set of hurdles that take place in the day to day of the business. This is where some key issues can begin to develop within the first few years. This is why it’s imperative that there are systems in place from day one, for not only employees but for the owners too. 

Why it's Important

Our number one tip to an operator is, and this is more important than anything else - know your business, know how every little aspect of it functions - especially the day to day of the operations. Do not let your business solely reside in the hands of employees, or family members who are employees. Even if you’re weak in some areas, that is okay - it's important to have a basic understanding of how everything works in your business. This will save you, as the owner and the business from future avoidable pain that is totally unnecessary. 



Systems, structure, training and implementation is a good place to start, and really is the foundation for any operation to run smoothly. Everyone in the company including all owners should take the same onboarding training as the employees, even some of the more specific training would be considered valuable for owners. There is also role specific training that relates to certain job functions like packaging of product, or trimming, or budtending, and inventory management, or collection of test samples etc. 

Here are a few examples of different types of training for a Cannabis Business that could be applied to almost every license type and then some training is geared towards the specific license, like a Dispensary, Cultivation, Delivery, Testing Lab, or Manufacturing facility. 

Employee Onboarding

Onboarding Training for all new employees - Having a systematic way of onboarding and training new employees allows your organization to provide the foundation of knowledge required for successful operations.  

Operational Training for all Functions and Job Roles - Each job description in the organization should have a customized training agenda. These agendas can be built out of standardized training components. 

Company Policies & Employee Handbook - The company handbook is a living document that records the policies and procedures of the company. This is an opportunity to embed your culture of compliance, and use your handbook as an educational tool. 

State Mandated Training 

Responsible Vendor Training - Many states require “Responsible Vendor Training ''; this must be provided by a licensed vendor that is registered with the state. 

Sample Collection Training - Sample collection has gotten more attention in recent years by cannabis regulatory agencies. Integrity of samples prevents recalls and liability claims. 

Company Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS) - Each manufactured product or cultivation system has specific SOPs that must be followed accurately to ensure quality control. Training on these SOPs is critical to success. 

Quality Management Systems - QA/QC systems are increasingly being included as a requirement for cannabis operators in almost all existing medical and adult-use markets.

Certified Training

OSHA - Occupational Health and Safety - OSHA is one of the federal standards that all cannabis companies must adhere to. Training in this area will reduce accidents and create a safe working environment.

Quality Assurance Training - Designing a QA/QC program is only half the battle, training individuals to implement your program and capturing the experience to improve your process is required.

Food Safety / Product Handling - Cannabis products are “Ready to Use'' this means that all food handling rules apply in addition to other quality control processes. ServSafe Training is required in many markets for employees that handle products. 

Training is also a key differentiator when it comes to creating a successful compliant regulated cannabis business. Having an overall strategy for employee training mapped out is vital. Who benefits from employees being properly trained? The customers/patients, the business and the workforce environment.

ICS Consulting specializes in Compliance based services, such as Third-Party State Regulatory Audits, State and Local License Application Support, Technical Writing, Standard Operating Procedures Development, Worker Safety, QMS, OSHA Compliance, Metrc Seed-to-Sale Support, Compliance Operations Training, Employee Retention Solutions, and Employee Onboarding. For more information on how ICS Consulting Service can help your Cannabis Business, book a free 30-minute consult and we'll help you map out your next steps to be successful in the Regulated Cannabis Industry.