Cannabis Compliance: Demystifying the Essentials With Melissa Rutherford and 1620 Partners


The legal cannabis industry is rapidly growing, and with that growth comes a need for compliance. In this article, We Interviewed Melissa Rutherford of 1620 Partners as she shared the essential elements of compliance that businesses need to have in order to succeed in the legal cannabis marketplace.

Compliance is not just a checkbox exercise.

Many businesses view compliance as a checkbox exercise. They think that as long as they have the necessary licenses and permits, they are in compliance. However, this is not the case. Compliance is an ongoing process that requires businesses to be constantly aware of the latest regulations.

The regulations governing the cannabis industry are constantly changing. What was compliant last year may not be compliant this year. Businesses need to make sure that they are staying up-to-date on the latest regulations in order to remain compliant.

Compliance is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

The regulations governing the cannabis industry vary from state to state. What is compliant in one state may not be compliant in another. Businesses need to make sure that they are familiar with the specific regulations that apply to their operations.

For example, the regulations governing the cultivation of cannabis are different from the regulations governing the sale of cannabis. Businesses need to make sure that they are familiar with the regulations that apply to each stage of their operations.

Compliance is not just about avoiding fines.

Compliance is about more than just avoiding fines. It is about protecting your business from legal liability. If you are not compliant, you could be sued by customers, employees, or even the government.

For example, if you sell cannabis to a minor, you could be sued by the minor’s parents. Or, if you fail to properly track your inventory, you could be accused of selling black-market cannabis.

Compliance is about building trust with your customers.

In today’s marketplace, consumers are demanding more transparency from businesses. They want to know that the products they are buying are safe and legal. By being compliant, you can build trust with your customers and give them peace of mind.

For example, if you have a clear and transparent policy on testing your products, customers will be more likely to trust you. Or, if you have a robust security system in place, customers will be more likely to feel safe buying from you.

Compliance is about creating a sustainable business.

A compliant business is a sustainable business. By following the rules, you can avoid costly fines and legal fees. You can also protect your reputation and ensure that your business is able to operate for the long term.

For example, if you are fined for violating the regulations, you could lose your license to operate. Or, if you are sued by a customer, you could be forced to close your business.


Compliance is essential for businesses operating in the legal cannabis marketplace. By following the essential elements of compliance outlined in this article, you can protect your business from legal liability, build trust with your customers, and create a sustainable business.

Here are some additional tips for cannabis businesses that want to stay compliant:

  • Hire a qualified compliance consultant to help you navigate complex regulations.
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest regulations by subscribing to industry publications and attending conferences.
  • Create a comprehensive compliance program that includes policies and procedures for all aspects of your business.
  • Train your employees on the compliance program and make sure they understand their responsibilities.
  • Ensure your business is subject to regular compliance audits to verify that your compliance program is being carried out.

According to Melissa, Following these tips, can help your cannabis business stay compliant and avoid legal trouble.