Heightened enforcement in cannabis consumer packaged goods inspections has begun to create problematic issues for dispensaries and could lead to supply shortages in certain product categories for consumers, claims an Arizona-based packaging company serving the fast-emerging industry.
DIZPOT, a branding, technology and compliant packaging solutions business, is addressing increased scrutiny by Arizona’s Department of Agriculture Weights and Service Division, and warns it could lead to a bigger problem. At the heart of the matter is how to accurately and adequately weigh and label cannabis, a perishable organic matter naturally prone to deterioration over time, despite compliant packaging practices.
According to John Hartsell, DIZPOT CEO, Arizona officials have begun issuing fines to cannabis companies when the consumer-facing label does not correspond with the exact weight of the products in the package which may be naturally occurring or due to incorrect exposure or incorrect humidity levels.
Hartsell added that suppliers have been charged in contempt of perpetrated consumer fraud despite the weight being correctly labeled when leaving the cultivation and packaging site. In Arizona, the Department of Agriculture states the weight indicated on the label must exactly match the contents in the package on the dispensary shelf.
“Most cannabis businesses take compliance regulations very seriously but with these new interpretations even these companies are at risk of being fined. Each month a previously lightly defined regulation is brought to the forefront. When regulations like these are weaponized against businesses it is detrimental not only to retailers but consumers. We believe it is our duty to be involved in legislation as experts on the matter to help guide this issue as our industry continues to grow,” said Hartsell.
Hartsell and his business partner, Jeff Scrabeck, are heavily involved in legislative lobbying in order to enforce good public policy. They insist while the mission of regulating agencies is to supply consumers with safe and compliant cannabis, the intricacies of the product are not taken into consideration at times. According to Hartsell, he and Scrabeck are working with cannabis manufacturers and legislators to find solutions that are satisfactory and transparent for the consumer.