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Vendor training program came down to the wire

It was down to the wire for some Massachusetts marijuana companies to meet a Jan. 1 deadline to train managers and employees under a new compliance and safety program that is the first of its kind in the nation.

The state’s Responsible Vendor Training Program is designed to support licensee compliance and enhance the safety of customers and employees.

Most cannabis businesses report they see the program as an investment in employees that also allows them to avoid large noncompliance fines.

However, required training on some topics might not pertain to all employees’ job duties, and some Massachusetts marijuana businesses point to the fact that people are being trained on state-mandated topics that don’t necessarily apply to their current job duties.

Marijuana training solutions provider Cannabis Trainers added three classes on Dec. 30 to ensure its clients met the deadline, said Maureen McNamara, founder of the Denver-based company.

“We trained over 1,000 people between Oct. 16 and Dec. 30,” McNamara said. “We had three trainers on the ground, including me, leading classes all across Massachusetts, including Nantucket. We had an additional three trainers leading live webinar classes.”

What’s covered in the training?

In October, the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) gave four companies, including Cannabis Trainers, the greenlight to begin training. The selected companies offer interactive programs, either live or online, that provide instruction on:

Operating in accordance with state laws, regulations and local rules.

Seed-to-sale tracking compliance.

Preventing diversion and sales to minors.

The effects of cannabis on the human body.

Compliance training is mandated for all employees of adult-use marijuana businesses, but it’s not required for medical facilities.