Written By: Christi Turner for Dope Magazine
It’s been over two years since recreational marijuana dispensaries first opened their doors in Colorado, but the regulatory environment around cannabis is still evolving. Dispensaries have been given the responsibility to stay informed of the latest in cannabis regulations, to keep their customers safe and their sales legal-but it isn’t always easy. Maureen McNamara, owner and founder of Cannabis Trainers, has made it her business to help them do it.
The cornerstone of McNamara’s business, Sell-SMaRT, is a training class tailored for cannabis store employees. The class was the first of its kind to be certified as a Responsible Vendor Program in Colorado, a voluntary program designed especially for marijuana dispensary owners and staffs. McNamara focuses especially on training budtenders-the women and men behind the counter who engage directly with consumers. That’s because budtenders, as she sees it, are on the front lines of the state’s still-new cannabis industry and more visible than most. “When cannabis is sold compliantly and safely, it shows the world that this can be done,” McNamara expressed. “If the budtenders and sellers are inspired to sell smart, to sell safely, they can really impact changing the way the world sees cannabis.”
“Rules and Regulations” is a critical component of the Sell-SMaRT training program. And at the moment, there are significant regulatory changes on the way that will impact the state’s cannabis sellers as much as anyone.
Perhaps the biggest regulatory change impacts what’s known as “sales limit equivalency.” Until now, the regulations have simply stated that a resident of Colorado can purchase up to one ounce of flower (28 grams) or its equivalent in infused product. The vague language was problematic. “That didn’t have a translation into, say, how many edibles is one ounce of flower,” said McNamara. “And how much concentrate is one ounce of flower?”
As a result, McNamara says many dispensaries were doing “straight math” to decide how many edibles or how much concentrate to sell to a customer. For example, some of her clients were selling up to 28 grams of concentrate to one person at one time. That’s a lot of concentrate.
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