FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Susannah Grossman, Verdant Communications
Cannabis Trainers Named Colorado’s First Responsible Vendor Program Provider
Sell-SMaRT™ Represents New Marijuana Enforcement Division Standards
for Cannabis Vendor Training
DENVER, CO (August 20, 2015) – Cannabis Trainers, a Denver-based provider of training and certification programs for the legal cannabis industry, is the first state-approved Responsible Vendor Program Provider under a new Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division initiative. Cannabis Trainers Founder & Chief Facilitator Maureen McNamara worked with Division leaders to shape the state’s responsible vendor training guidelines. Her company’s Sell-SMaRT™ program is the first to be approved as a Responsible Vendor Program.
McNamara, a professional training expert who has facilitated national certification programs since 1996, said, “Cannabis Trainers is proud to provide training that meets and exceeds Marijuana Enforcement Division guidelines.” She added, “As more states adopt legalization measures, Sell-SMaRT is uniquely prepared to help establish responsible, safe cannabis sales practices in new markets.”
Sell-SMaRT represents the highest standards for responsible vendor training in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry. The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), the trade organization representing the interests of thousands of legal cannabis businesses at the federal level, has been offering subsidized Sell-SMaRT classes to its members for a year.
“NCIA is committed to high industry standards for quality, safety and responsibility, and well-crafted training programs are critical to spreading those standards. We’ve been proud to offer Cannabis Trainers trainings to our members at a low cost so that we all develop the kinds of best practices that define a professional, sustainable industry,” said NCIA Executive Director Aaron Smith.
Though responsible vendor training is currently optional for Colorado businesses, Sell-SMaRT is an essential resource for leading cannabis retailers including Good Chemistry and MiNDFUL, both of which require all employees to take part in the program. Their proactive training efforts align with a new State Licensing Authority rule granting “responsible vendor” designations to businesses that require all owners and employees to successfully complete a Marijuana Enforcement Division-approved Responsible Vendor Program. The “responsible vendor” designation demonstrates a commitment to a culture of professionalism and to safe, responsible sales practices. It will be taken into consideration as a mitigating factor in the event of a violation, and may result in rate discounts from insurance agencies that recognize the program.
“Good Chemistry’s commitment to business best practices and continued compliance with state regulations includes ensuring that its employees are provided with the best training available to help navigate safely and intelligently in our complex business environment. Cannabis Trainers’ Sell-SMaRT program offers our employees the best training possible,” explained Steve Spinosa, Good Chemistry’s Vice President of Retail Operations. MiNDFUL’s Compliance Officer, Jennifer Kealy, added, “Sell-SMaRT is a must for businesses that recognize the long-term value of responsible practices and compliance.”
Having worked with Colorado’s Liquor Enforcement Division on a Responsible Vendor Program for safe liquor sales in the past, McNamara was asked to participate in a work group that helped the Marijuana Enforcement Division develop similar criteria for the state’s cannabis industry. Approved programs like Sell-SMaRT must meet detailed requirements for curriculum, evaluation, and documentation.
Sell-SMaRT teaches the essentials for safe and responsible cannabis sales, giving staff tools to effectively mitigate the risks and liabilities associated with cannabis retail operations. The five-hour course addresses marijuana laws and regulations, safety and security, ID checks, and consumer safety and education. The course also teaches participants how to safely handle difficult situations including on-premise consumption, refusing sales, customers under the influence and potential violence.
About Cannabis Trainers
Founded in 2014, Cannabis Trainers offers interactive, engaging training programs that promote the safe, responsible, and professional sale of cannabis products. Led by Maureen McNamara—a speaker, facilitator, and trainer with more than 20 years of experience training thousands of professionals around the world—Cannabis Trainers’ top two programs are ServSafe® and Sell-SMaRT™. ServSafe is a recognized food safety training course that is ideal for individuals employed in edibles production. Sell-SMaRT is the first Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division-approved Responsible Vendor Program for marijuana sales. Cannabis Trainers currently offers programs in Colorado, and plans to expand to additional states as legalization occurs. Cannabis Trainers is member of NCIA and a founding member of Women Grow, the national professional organization supporting women leaders and entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry.
For more information on Cannabis Trainers, please visit www.cannabistrainers.com.