The cannabis business is one of the only industries where one mistake from a front-end employee could shut the entire company down.
With cannabis still federally prohibited – and legal states under intense scrutiny from their state regulatory boards – a cannabis entrepreneur’s business license could be revoked and criminal charges brought against them for any number of compliance errors made by anyone within their organization.
In such a new and changing industry, it can be difficult for anyone to know all the rules and regulations to keep their operation in compliance.
That’s where Maureen McNamara and the online Sell-SMaRT™ training program come into play – making sure dispensary teams have exactly what they need for streamlined compliance training.
“Our job is to translate hundreds of pages of rules into something understandable for the dispensary worker, to ensure they’re selling medicine and cannabis compliantly to patients and adults,” McNamara says.
Since the original launch of Sell-SMaRT™ in 2014, approximately 5,000 cannabis industry employees and entrepreneurs from across the nation have gone through the program, learning how to navigate the many tricky situations that dispensary teams face every day.
And while Sell-SMaRT™ is the first certificate program of its kind to be approved by the Colorado State Department of Health and will soon be mandatory in Massachusetts, the program includes compliance training for dispensaries in every cannabis state.
The Sell-SMaRT™ program is for:
Any staff engaging with customers
Who is Compliance Trainer Maureen McNamara?
With over two decades of compliance-focused training, mostly in the hospitality industry, Maureen McNamara has trained over 20,000 attendees in national certification programs, both employees and business owners.
McNamara previously worked on compliance training with the Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division, the National Restaurant Association, and the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division.
Today she works as the Founder and Chief Facilitator of Cannabis Trainers™, drawing on her extensive experience in compliance education to create and maintain the comprehensive and engaging Sell-SMaRT™ cannabis compliance training program, now a part of Green Flower Academy.
How did McNamara get her start in cannabis?
Her journey in cannabis began while teaching a food safety course in 2013, when she met her first edibles manufacturer in attendance.
“It gave me the idea that my decades of professional development experience could be a contribution to the cannabis industry,” McNamara explains.
That contribution continues to be a big one. A compliance training course could not be more necessary in such a heavily regulated industry.
Is Compliance Training Necessary?
Running a cannabis business can be incredibly stressful, especially when every employee is held to such a high standard for compliance.
What’s more, a lot of cannabis employees are not properly trained and are just doing the best that they can.
Many states do require cannabis compliance training or at the very least incentivize businesses to do so, and Sell-SMaRT™ makes the whole process much easier and more efficient.
McNamara believes that even refresher compliance training through ongoing education is paramount. Rules change, and it’s best to ensure that people know what’s accurate, up to date, and essential.
With cannabis regulations changing seemingly every year, it’s not just budtenders/ dispensary agents that have grown to appreciate and benefit from the Sell-SMaRT™ course.
“Even owners and compliance directors have learned something new, something they didn’t realize and wanted to implement,” McNamara notes.
She likes to quote one of her favorite cannabis clients: “We’re in the compliance business. If we do that right, then we’re lucky enough to sell cannabis.”
Whether a state government’s increased scrutiny of the industry is fair or not, cannabis entrepreneurs must be willing to go above and beyond to keep the industry – and their business – thriving.
McNamara adds: “We’re committed to people not just learning it, but implementing it, and ensuring that the industry can move forward with integrity, professionalism, and compliance. We are inspiring people to do this better and differently.”