Cannabusiness: Creating Industry Standards

The rise of any new industry is both a blessing and a curse. Having the ability to create the rules and regulations that help shape, define and lead new business is exciting and rewarding work. The curse, perhaps, can be seen as a challenge: How do we start legit cannabusinesses, let alone see the birth of an entirely new economy from scratch? Especially when cannabis is inherently misunderstood and comes stigmatized as a once underground, illegal and unregulated business?

As states continue to support full-on legalization of cannabis, the urgency to develop across-the-board standards for businesses operating in the cannabis space is glaringly apparent.

In fact, it’s essential that we develop, and even over-emphasize marijuana rules and regulations to keep not only cannabusinesses safe, but consumers as well.

This past July, attorney generals, public officials, state representatives and business owners met in Hawaii to start work on a cannabis industry “Code of Responsible Practices.” The idea hinged on setting standards, protocols and to help provide oversight for both new and developed weed businesses.

Not only to add legitimacy to our cause, but also to strengthen the value of our brands, cannabusinesses and overall industry, I’m offering this call to action as potential steps to take as the cannabis industry moves forward:

Elect a Governing Body: A board compromised of growers, ganjapreneurs, consumers, lawyers and activists should be elected from a group of peers and act as a self-regulating and governing body.

Learn to Self-Police: We don’t have to look much further than the FDA to know that when big government agencies step in they don’t represent the best interest or even have the manpower to enforce regulations. Part of having a self-regulating body would be an oversight committee to ensure best practices. Autonomy is a privilege. Let’s learn to govern ourselves before mandates are dictated by someone else.

Enforce Transparent Standards: Once the governing board is in place the real fun begins. A standard set of rules and regulations, ones that are easily understood—and therefore adhered to—is essential to the cannabis industry as new states adapt to legalization or adopt a medical bill. These rules and regulations should apply to each facet of the marijuana industry and provide across-the-board standards.

Implement a Cannabusiness Code Of Conduct: No doubt the cannabis industry is already being carefully watched, so it’s imperative to create good business practices from the beginning and continue to lead by example.

Observe and Expand: Look to existing industries and learn from their experience. Which are self-policing? Do we take a page out of the pharmaceutical, farming, or medical industry? Do we choose to follow Colorado’s lead, furthering their progress by expanding and adapting their rules and regulations? Once set, these guidelines should be universally accepted and help newly legalized states transition seamlessly. Then go international.

Unify: Strength in numbers signifies professionalism. Uniformity helps all, especially as cannabusiness expands into other states.

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