San Francisco | JULY 30,2020

Insights

A Compliance Plan For the Ever-Evolving World of Cannabis

Michael Cooper of MadisonJay Solutions will explain how to protect your new cannabis drinks company from legal and regulatory risk

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04/12/2018

Michael Cooper of MadisonJay Solutions

No matter how good your new cannabis drink product might be, it will not be successful unless you first learn to navigate the unique state and federal regulatory framework for the cannabis industry. There are literally hundreds of pages of regulations for all operators to follow. And, making things even more difficult, the regulatory landscape continues to shift and evolve on a state-by-state basis. To help make sense of this often confusing landscape, Michael Cooper, Managing Member of MadisonJay Solutions LLC, will explain how to protect your new cannabis drinks company from legal and regulatory risk at the upcoming Cannabis Drinks Expo in San Francisco.

One big message that Cooper has for new players in the fledgeling cannabis drinks industry is to make strong compliance a key part of your business model. Many companies make the mistake of downplaying the role of risk management or assuming that since they do not have “plant-touching” operations that they are somehow immune from regulatory oversight. But as Cooper is quick to point out, identifying and evaluating risk should be a primary concern. In fact, your company should be creating a plan to target and mitigate it in a cost-effective manner as soon as possible.

The good news, though, is that many of the lessons and insights learned from other highly regulated industries can also be applied to the cannabis industry. “You don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” Cooper says. As he points out, much of the regulatory framework for the cannabis industry is based on the framework for the alcohol beverage industry. And, in many cases, the same regulators and public servants responsible for overseeing the alcohol beverage industry in one state might also be responsible for overseeing the cannabis industry.

Where things get tricky, however, is in navigating the unique state-by-state regulatory challenges. What works in Colorado, for example, might not work in Nevada, Oregon or Washington State. In some cases – as in the example of California – the rules and regulations can differ on a county-by-county or city-by-city basis. That’s why it is very important to work with a compliance expert with deep domain expertise. You simply can’t leave your risk and compliance model to chance when it comes to bringing your new cannabis drinks product to market.

Prior to MadisonJay Solutions, Cooper worked for MHW, Ltd., which specializes in developing compliance solutions for alcohol beverage companies, including several Fortune 500 companies. And it’s exactly this deep domain expertise that he says is so valuable now for making sense of the regulatory landscape of the cannabis industry. Whether you are a retail storefront, dispensary, grower or manufacturer, you need to know the rules of the game for each stage of the cannabis drinks supply chain.

Thus, one good reason to attend the upcoming Cannabis Drinks Expo in San Francisco is to hear Cooper’s unique perspective on compliance for the cannabis industry. Since the industry is so tightly regulated, it is extremely important to assess all relevant risks and then address them directly. When the time comes to bring your product to market, you don’t want to get derailed by unforeseen regulatory issues.