During a hearing on Thursday, the commission voted to give its executive director and staff the ability to grant or deny approval to people who wish to work in recreational marijuana establishments. Under the state’s regulations, all employees in recreational marijuana facilities need to be registered with the state as an “agent.”
The vote allows the commission staff to begin approving those employees — rather than having the commissioners approve applications only at public hearings — removing what could have been a substantial delay in getting the recreational industry off the ground.
“This is intended to enable our staff to be responsive to applicants and to licensees in a real-time way,” Commissioner Britte McBride said at the hearing.
To date, 110 applications for marijuana establishment agents have been started in the state’s database, though no agent applications have been completed. Licensing the employees not only allows the state to oversee who is working within the marijuana industry, but also allows employees access to the so-called “seed-to-sale” marijuana tracking software, called Metrc.
Employee licensing is a critical component to getting the recreational marijuana sector up and running. Dispensaries and other marijuana businesses will have to conduct a criminal records check on each of their employees as part of the license application, or request a waiver from the state if employees have already received a Criminal Offender Record Information, or CORI, check in the last year for the medical marijuana program.
The commission on Thursday also voted to give its staff the authority to license inspectional staff, who will be responsible for inspecting marijuana establishments for a final license. Commissioners introduced their first four inspectors at the meeting. The commission also requested that the staff report back frequently on the demographics and number of people working in the industry.