Pre-License Cannabis Operating Plans

Pre-License Cannabis Operations Documents

cannabis standard operating procedures

Getting Started With a Cannabis Facility

Most US States, as well as Canada require cannabis business applicants and licensees submit operating plans or operating procedures to prove adequate preparedness for operations. These plans are somewhat like SOPs, but they are written for the government regulators, to assure them of the safety and security of 1) the licensee’s building 2) the workers at the business 3) the general public, including minors 4) consumers of the products sold and 5) the environment. The most common cannabis operations plans I’ve encountered in every set of state or national regulations are:

    • A Security Operating Plan or Security Procedures

      The Security Plan describes how the facility is going to be protected and how the product will stay confined to certain Limited or Restricted Access Areas. Most jurisdictions will want applicants to describe perimeter security, building security–both physical and human–camera locations, types of locks used, video recording protocols, signage, visitor access and tracking, product access and tracking, transfer of product within and to external locations, and more.

      Be careful not to confuse a hardware security plan, which is a visual layout of cameras, alarms, and security lights with a narrative Security Plan, which contains policies, responsibilities, training and procedures in paragraph form. Ours is the latter. Click Here to read more about our Cannabis Security Plan template.

All of our Cannabis Standard Operating Plans and Procedures are written to represent average industry standards and contain all of the topics we’ve encountered reading various sets of regulations from across the US, with placeholder text that shows standard information.

The applicant or licensee who needs standard operating procedures can use these documents to save quite a lot of time and money compared to having them custom written. That said, these cannabis operations plans are templates that still need to be customized and reviewed by a cannabis business or compliance attorney before submittal. Rules vary somewhat from one jurisdiction to another, and they also change quite frequently given the infancy of the industry. Because of this, a cannabis business compliance expert (usually an attorney) should approve customized operations plans before they are submitted. Otherwise, the licensing process could be significantly delayed.


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