Grow, Gift, Repair

Is the state dragging it’s feet on inspections?

“We wanted to ensure that your team is aware that our facilities are ready for inspection,” wrote Amanda Rositano, director of operational compliance for NETA.

Their inspection took place Sept. 20. Both NETA and Cultivate communicated with regulators on a number of occasions, and held roundtable discussions designed to increase communication before the inspections.

As a completely new agency, the CCC began with a barebones staff and has been working for over a year to hire the necessary employees. The agency hired four inspectors, who are part of the inspections, Sept. 4, according to the commission.

Both Cultivate and NETA received their final licenses last week, and now must pass an additional inspection and clear other regulatory hurdles to begin operations.

“We are pleased the Cannabis Control Commission is advancing the program and has issued final licenses,” said Norton Arbelaez, director of governmental affairs for NETA. “We look forward to the next steps and final approval by the CCC so we can open our doors and provide voter-approved access to safe, regulated cannabis.”

In a statement, the Cannabis Commission said it has put a process in place for formal inspection requests, and said it is going through the license process carefully.

“The Cannabis Control Commission’s first priority and responsibility is to protect the public health and safety of the citizens of the commonwealth. There is a formal process in place through which provisional licensees may notify the Commission when they feel ready to be inspected,” a CCC spokesperson said. “Upon receipt of that formal notification, staff contact the licensee to start scheduling an inspection within five business days. That timeline has been met successfully by the Commission leading up to all final license approvals to date.”

Still, that process was not publicly disclosed until a Sept. 20 meeting, after, or while, the NETA and Cultivate inspections were taking place.