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PHARMACOLOGY UNIVERSITY CONSULTING & LICENSING 

Pharmacology University provides total solutions for the design, development, operation, funding and optimization of medical cannabis cultivation centers and dispensaries. Pharmacology University provides management, funding, staffing and personnel training, implementing best practices in the industry. It is on the forefront of medical research working with physicians and scientists to create precision dosing to treat specific conditions.

Pharmacology University delivers the highest quality, most comprehensive blueprint for success from license application to sale of product.

Pharmacology University supports Clients across the U.S. with:

  • Application and Business Plan Development
  • Design and Development of full service Cultivation Centers and Dispensaries
  • Financial Planning, Structure, and Funding of Cannabis facilities
  • Patient Education and Physician Outreach
  • Precision Dosing, Product Development, and Branding
  • Staff Training and Best Practices

HOW TO OPEN A MEDICAL CANNABIS FACILITY

Cannabis has become a major industry and many entrepreneurs want to know how they can join this growing enterprise. When people first think about joining this industry they think of:

  1. Growing medical cannabis
  2. Opening a dispensary for medical cannabis        
  3. Opening an infused product facility
  4. Opening a product safety lab

UNDERSTANDING THE RISK

Cannabis is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug that has no medical value under federal law. Federal minimum sentencing for cultivating over 99 or 999 marijuana plants still apply. Consult a knowledgeable attorney before embarking on a career or investment in medical cannabis. The risk is caused by the differences between federal and state laws. The gray area between the federal and state law is what creates the opportunity for entrepreneurs willing to accept the risk in an industry considered too risky for conventional big business.

While memos on federal policy for states with medical cannabis laws are released under one administration, those policy guidelines are not law and are subject to change under another administration. We’ve seen asset forfeiture letters aimed at landlords renting to dispensaries and grow centers.
Due to the scrutiny of medical cannabis businesses financial transparency and operating ‘above board’ are requirements for all medical marijuana businesses. Other important procedures include paying taxes and monitoring inventory within the secure medical cannabis dispensary or grow center. Pharmacology University has on its staff the best lawyers and CPA's for legal and financial help and the best consultants for business planning and developing cannabis businesses. 

BUILDING YOUR TEAM

Consult with a lawyer and understand the medical cannabis laws in your state. Some states have not allowed for medical cannabis at all. Most medical cannabis opportunities are available through a state governed program overseen by a state department related to public health. These programs begin with a highly defined request for application or proposal for interested applicants in which the applicant’s response is graded, or rated by criteria developed by the state division in charge of authorizing medical cannabis businesses. The competition is fierce in all states among applicants for medical marijuana business permits.

Pharmacology University recommends that you build a highly qualified diverse team that may include doctors, engineers, horticulturists, administrators rich in management experience, managers with security experience and managers with operational, zoning and financial experience in medical cannabis. The quality of your board members and employees is a major factor in first consideration by the division set to grade your organization’s ability to provide medical grade cannabis to the state’s qualifying patients. It may also be a considering factor in the case of 2 applications being tied.

Ideally the team will allow for a master editor and a director to insure all deadlines are met and the proposal comes across as if it is from one voice, even though all team members have contributed items for the application response. During this time you’ll be running 2 businesses, one business to obtain the marijuana business permit, the other to build out the business plan if awarded a permit. Team members may have to solicit letters of recommendation from mayors, city council members, police chiefs and zoning commissioners while having the medical marijuana experience to build out the facility. Having qualified personnel is the key, as well as the team’s ability to train less experienced members.

FINANCIAL METRICS

Before you embark and opening a medical cannabis dispensary or cultivation center you should take the time to understand the financial and time requirements. Many times, while working with clients and after spending a large amount of time and money the client determines they can longer ‘hold on’ or they don’t have enough to get to the finish line. It’s important to weigh your investment in time and money. If you are in position where you are well capitalized and hire the best consultants and get the best project team it can also be very expensive.

The proof of capitalization as required in all of the medical cannabis state’s application responses is expensive, and rarely under $250,000 in proven liquid assets. Since proof of capitalization is such a high priority in these state’s processes it’s often used as a tiebreaker in the event of applications graded as a tie. As consultants we recommend having much more liquid capital than the application response requires. The application capitalization requirements are often over burdening to the financial resources of a small mom and pop type operation, but the industry has positions to fill for experienced managers. Even experienced entrepreneurs may be torn between debt and equity. A Pharmacology University representative can walk you through the benefits and pitfalls of each.

SUITABILITY OF YOUR FACILITY LOCATION

There are several factors facing any business regarding potential real estate:

  • Physical Features of the Real Estate
  • Zoning Issues
  • Legal and Financial Considerations
  • Owning vs Leasing

In most medical cannabis states the real estate will be part of the application process. Appropriate documents citing compliance with state and local zoning requirements will be required as part of the proposal. This includes a lease, letter of intent, or if owning your real estate proof of ownership. Consult with a lawyer, CPA and your Pharmacology University representative on deciding the advantages and disadvantages of owning and leasing. There are greater legal ramifications in owning your own building and you don’t want to purchase a building and then not get a permit. Finding a landlord comfortable with the intended use is a hurdle for those seeking to lease property for this industry. It’s vital to be forthcoming with the landlord over the intended use of the space, you don’t want to get a permit and have issues down the road.

Your Pharmacology University representative can assist with tips for working with brokers, getting landlord, bank and insurance approvals as well as real estate contract considerations. The distance to sensitive uses and the physical features to look for in a building are other considerations we’re poised to help you with. You need to start building a list of potential properties now.

BUILDING A BUSINESS PLAN

Define the goals of the division authorizing medical cannabis business permits and build your organization’s mission statement around that. Some states may prioritize a high quality product for qualifying patients while another state may prioritize job creation and living wage jobs or staff diversity.

Pharmacology University has invested heavily into producing high quality dispensary and cultivation facility business plans. We’re proud of the fact that we can show entrepreneurs what their proposal will look like during an in person meeting and entrepreneurs can preview the plans online. In the early stages of the process each member of our client’s board of directors have plans they can show investors, elected officials, zoning commissions, engineers and contractors. We deliver a road map for clients outlining all executables and deliveries, when they’re due, and who should be responsible for them.

The plans your organization considers varies from one state to another. Most states require plans for general organizational business planning, financial projection planning, patient confidentiality training, record keeping with seed to sale inventory tracking plans, cultivation plans and security plans. A product safety testing plan should be considered even if it’s not required by the division authorizing medical marijuana business permits. All these components are eventually combined into your business plan and the response your organization provides the state’s request for proposal (RFP) or request for application (RFA). The plans are graded and ranked by the division and the organization considered to best meet the needs of qualifying patients and the regulations of the division are awarded a permit or in some states a provisional permits and the build out of the business plan begins. Pharmacology University partners with national and local providers of engineering, contracting, security, insurance and other services.


 

Standard Operating Procedures

Depending on the State or market where you are applying for a Cannabis license, the number of available licenses can range from a handful to relatively unlimited. Each state or market has its own application process, which includes its own required documentation, fee structure, requirements and process for awarding licenses. The markets where the number of licenses is limited are very competitive.

The application packets can vary from confoundingly vague and short on detail, to almost 100 pages that detail every aspect of the application packet. Some states/markets require applicants to write and compile thousands (yes, THOUSANDS) of pages of documents, covering everything from company and facility information to policies; methods and procedures for every aspect of the business. To complicate the matters even more, the requirements can often change multiple times during the process of completing the application. We have seen this happen in multiple markets and it seems to be the norm rather than the exception.

Until you have gone all the way through an application process, it is hard to understand the amount of work required to submit a completed application that has a chance at landing a cannabis license.In order to assist our clients in the application process, we have composed/compiled sets of operational documents for Dispensaries; Cultivation facilities; Manufacturing facilities and Testing Laboratories.

General Procedures Cultivation Procedures
  • Operations Emergency/Medical
  • Operations Emergency/Fire
  • Operations Emergency/Chemical
  • Operations Emergency/Natural Disasters
  • Operations Emergency/Power Loss
  • Operations Emergency/Evacuation
  • Operations Emergency/Criminal
  • Operations Inventory/Tracking
  • Operations Inventory/Controls
  • Operations Inventory/Recall
  • Operations Inventory/Waste Disposal
  • Operations Closing/Fire Safety Checks
  • Chain of Custody Procedures
  • Hard Copy Back-up-Redundant Systems
  • Fire Prevention Program Manual
  • BBP Exposure Plan
  • Chain of Custody Policy
  • Diversion Prevention Policy
  • Drug-Free Workplace Policy
  • Electrical Safety Program
  • Emergency Action Plan
  • Emergency Equipment
  • Emergency Procedures
  • General Closing Checks
  • Recall Procedures
  • Screening & Monitoring of Employees
  • Waste Disposal Plan
  • Clone Taking Manual
  • Cultivation General Manual
  • Germination Manual
  • Harvesting Manual
  • Measuring & Adjusting pH
  • Nutrients Manual
  • Seed Production Manual
  • Soil Manual
  • Transplanting Manual
  • Water Manual
  • SOP_C001_Cloning
  • SOP_C002a_Germination
  • SOP_C002b_Germination
  • SOP_C002c_Germination
  • SOP_C003_Seed Production
  • SOP_C004_Nutrient Mixing
  • SOP_C005_Flushing Nutrient
  • SOP_C006_Watering & Feeding
  • SOP_C007_Adjusting pH
  • SOP_C008_Medium Mixing
  • SOP_C009_Transplanting
  • SOP_C010_Harvesting
  • Plus a set of applicable SDS/MSDS
Manufacturing Procedures Laboratory Procedures
  • Cannabis Edibles Reference Manual
  • Chemical Hygiene Plan
  • Chemical Storage Guidelines
  • Closed Loop Extractor Operating Manual
  • Compressed Gas Cylinder Storage & Handling
  • Cold Water Extraction Manual
  • Cooking Fundamentals Manual
  • Food Safety Manual
  • Guide to GMP for Pharmaceutical Products
  • Cannabinoid Infused Butter and Oils Manual
  • Quality Compliance
  • Emergency Eyewash & Shower Manual
  • Extract Filtering & Refining Manual
  • Extraction General Manual
  • Food Safety Manual
  • General Laboratory Procedures
  • Hazardous Gas Storage
  • Hood Safety & Ventilation Procedures
  • Infusing Cannabinoids into PG & VG
  • Laboratory Employee Training
  • Personal Protection Equipment
  • Personal Protective Equipment Policy
  • Respiratory Protection Program
  • OSHA Prudent Practices in the Laboratory
  • SOP_M001_Eyewash Station
  • SOP_M002_Closed Loop System Test
  • SOP_M003_Closed Loop System Operation
  • SOP_M004_Loading & Refilling Solvent Gases
  • SOP_M005_Infusing PG/VG
  • SOP_M006_Winterization
  • SOP_M007_UV Treatment
  • SOP_M008_Hexane Wash
  • SOP_M009_Haxane Brine Wash
  • SOP_M010_Solvent Reclaim
  • SOP_M011_Vacuum Oven
  • SOP_WFM001_Cold Water Extraction
  • SOP_WFM002_Cannabinoid Butter Production
  • Chemical Hygiene Plan
  • Chemical Storage Guidelines
  • Compressed Gas Cylinder Storage & Handling
  • Disposal Policy for Materials of Uncertain Composition
  • Electrical Safety
  • General Laboratory Procedures
  • Hazardous Gas Storage
  • Hood Safety & Ventilation Procedures
  • Laboratory Employee Training
  • Monthly Laboratory Checklist
  • Personal Protective Equipment Addendum
  • Personal Protective Equipment Policy
  • Respiratory Protection Program
  • OSHA Prudent Practices in the Laboratory
  • SOP_L001_Eyewash Station
  • SOP_L002_Respiratory Protection
  • SOP_L003_Solvent Reclaim
  • SOP_L004_Vacuum Oven
  • SOP_L001ch_Acutely Toxic Chemicals
  • SOP_L002ch_Compressed Gases
  • SOP_L003ch_Corrosive Chemicals
  • SOP_L004ch_Dry Boxes
  • SOP_L005ch_Flammable Liquids
  • SOP_L006ch_Oxidizers
  • SOP_L007ch_Ozone
  • SOP_L008ch_Solvent Stills
  • Plus a set of reference methods from the EPA/DEA/ICH
  • And all applicable SDS/MSDS

Although these documents are only a part of what you will most likely need to submit a completed application, they can save you an enormous amount of effort and time. Not to mention giving your company a good fundamental foundation for its operations. For more information about any of these services, please submit an information request through the website or call one of our offices!




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