Whether you are looking to open a medical marijuana treatment center (MMTC) or retail marijuana establishment (ME), opening a dispensary in Massachusetts requires you to develop a certain number of operational plans, which also requires the development of standard operating procedures (SOPs).
What Are Operational Plans & SOPs?
Operational plans are a term we use to describe plans you use to structure your day-to-day operations as a cannabis business. Examples include security plans, safety plans, emergency response plans, and inventory management plans. Massachusetts requires you to develop and submit these plans when you apply for a dispensary license.
SOPs are step-by-step instructions for performing common processes, such as opening and closing a store for the store, completing a transaction, and disposing of recalled cannabis. You can use SOPs to solidify your operational plans.
MMTC vs ME Requirements
MMTCs are vertically-integrated (meaning they give you the right to cultivate, process, and sell your own cannabis products) medical licenses, and MEs are recreational/adult-use licenses. Application requirements for both types of licenses are pretty similar. Most people just get ME retailer licenses these days, since it gives you the ability to sell to both medical and adult-use patrons anyway. MMTCs are more of a holdover from when Massachusetts was a medical-only state.
So What Plans & SOPs Are Required for Cannabis Retailers in Massachusetts, Then?
This chart from state regulators shows the required plans and SOPs you need when submitting an application for a marijuana retailer license in Massachusetts:
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s required in each of these plans:
Your business needs to have a security plan in place including an alarm system, camera system, and access control system, or even security guards.
Prevention of Diversion
How you will prevent cannabis products and material from being diverted from the fully-tracked, seed-to-sale supply chain, including preventing cannabis from being lost, stolen, or sold or destroyed without being properly logged.
How you intend on storing your cannabis so that it isn’t stolen or contaminated and remains safe to consume.
How you intend on keeping track of all your cannabis products, and whatever other records you’re required to keep, including personnel records, visitor logs, batch records, and training materials.
Quality Control and Testing Procedures
Not that relevant to retailers, but in your case will involve maintaining product quality with proper storage, and verifying that all the products you stock have been properly tested as required by law.
Where you lay out how you’re going to maintain and keep track of your inventory, including how you’re going to perform inventory checks, how you’ll transport and receive new products, etc.
Maintenance of Financial Records
How you’ll keep financial records including sales, investments, salaries, etc.
How Forte SOPs Can Help
We’ve got all the SOPs you need for your Massachusetts marijuana retailer application. Our service also includes a secure online portal that you can custom-brand with your company logo and colors, and that allows you to store, manage, and share your SOPs, all from one place. Why spend days and weeks writing your own SOPs when you can get all the SOPs you need in just minutes?
All of our retailer SOPs have been written and verified by cannabis retail experts. Plus, we continually update them as regulations change, so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of little changes here and there or rewriting your SOPs every couple of years.