HCN News & Notes

Cannabis Control Commission Opens Certification Process for Responsible-vendor Trainers

BOSTON — The Cannabis Control Commission announced it has begun accepting applications from entities seeking to achieve state certification as responsible-vendor trainers for marijuana-establishment agents. The program, the first of its kind to be mandated statewide by a cannabis regulatory agency, is designed to support licensee compliance and enhance the safety of customers and employees of cannabis businesses in the Commonwealth.

“Massachusetts’ regulations include safeguards that ensure marijuana establishments operate carefully and adults have information they need to make educated decisions when they purchase cannabis,” Commissioner Kay Doyle said. “The launch of our Responsible Vendor Training Program will double down on those measures by ensuring all agents have standardized skills and knowledge to fulfill their duties, which will enhance service to customers and increase the safety of all who participate in the legal industry.”

Instructional designers and related professionals who wish to become certified as trainers for the Commission’s program may apply through the Massachusetts Cannabis Industry Portal. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Vendor trainers are required to be independent companies and are prohibited from being owners of, employees for, or having a controlling interest in a licensed marijuana establishment.

Approved responsible vendor trainers must offer a real-time, interactive program, either live or online, in which instructors impart standardized training to marijuana-establishment agents, including but not limited to the following areas: the effects of cannabis on the human body, preventing diversion and sales to minors, seed-to-sale tracking compliance; and operating in accordance with state laws, regulations, local rules, and other topics.

Trainers also must be able to verify the identification of all attendees and certify their successful completion of the program. The commission will review and approve curricula every two years for trainers to remain certified.

Once the program launches, marijuana-establishment staff will be required to complete at least two hours of responsible-vendor training as part of the state’s annual, eight-hour general training minimum required of agents who are registered to operate in the adult-use industry. All owners, managers, and employees that are involved in the handling and sale of marijuana will be required to attend courses through a certified provider within 90 days of hire.