COVID-19 & Impact on The Cannabis Industry | Webinar Recap

Featuring Larry Horwitz, President of CREC Compliance, you will get a first hand discussion and Q/A for the issues presented by the current changes to business operations so you can navigate more successfully!

Lawrence Horwitz, President of CREC Compliance

This webinar discussed the issues related to the virus and how it affects the cannabis industry for you to be prepared:

  1. what it means for the MJ industry to be characterized as a vital industry; this does not apply in all states
  2. issues for employers to consider
  3. issues for employees to consider

Learn why we are now working even closer with municipal and state regulating agencies to minimize application processing times and how you can to! Use form at the bottom for any other questions on cannabis and Corona Virus.

 

CREC COMPLIANCE WEBINAR MARCH 26, 2020:

CANNABIS OPERATIONS AND THE CORONA VIRUS

We have published the video of the webinar and notes from the webinar. Please watch and learn how to best proceed as an employee or employer of the cannabis industry. If you have any questions, fill out the form at the bottom of the blog and we’ll respond quickly.

 

Watch Video of CREC Compliance Webinar (Length: 21:56)

 

Read Webinar Outline

1. The General Legal Environment

A) Employers have a duty of care, generally defined as an obligation to provide a work environment free of hazards which may cause death or serious injury.

B) What does this mean in the context of a world-wide pandemic?

  • Can your physical location remain open as a matter of law: states like California recognize cannabis as a “critical industry” and as a result the answer is yes in California, but this changes from state to state and also from vertical to vertical (ie. Perhaps a cultivator can have its grow location open but a software provider may have more of a challenge).
  • If you stay open in violation of the law what are the consequences: employee’s cannot waive this risk and at least under the recent government pronouncements it is a criminal as well as civil violation, but you are also now strictly liable for injury to employees.
  • If you stay open as authorized by the law, what then? Your company must do two things: (a) adopt the procedures suggested by the Center for Disease Control (“CDC”  and discussed below); and (b) have active monitoring and documentation of efforts (also discussed below).

 

2. Legal Operations in the Age of the Corona Virus

CDC Suggested Guideline:

  1. Any sign of illness and employee should be immediately sent home (must the employee be paid while out?)
  2. Provide disinfecting liquids in key office locations (kitchens, bathrooms etc.)
  3. Disinfect common surfaces periodically if applicable
  4. Maintain social distancing if possible
  5. Provide basic protective gear such as gloves, masks and while not as extensive as medical workers, the extent should be a product of job function
  6. Teleworking is recommended if at all possible.

 

CREC Compliance Additional Suggestions:

  1. We have developed a Notification and Waiver document, which employees sign as a condition to their coming back to work, generally notifying them of the risk, requiring that they comply with the company’s guidelines and providing other disclosures.
  2. Document the steps taken, so have a sign off sheet for periodic disinfectant, distribution of protective gear, etc.
  3. Minimize contact between employees and employees and customers (for example, do not handle cash without gloves,  no shaking of hands etc.).

 

3. The Lawyers Full Employment Act

  • The key is to not become a target for the plaintiff’s bar;
  • No doubt employers will be held strictly liable for CDC compliance if something happens to one of the employees;
  • Document, document, document …. remember if it is not in writing, it is not worth the paper it is not written on.

 

4. Other Questions Answered on Webinar

  • Due to being federally illegal, it seems that Cannabis companies will not be eligible for federal assistance. Also, personally, with my income artificially inflated due to 280E, I may not be eligible for assistance either. What options can we create?
  • Remember most on the job injury claims, including contracting the virus would generally be covered by workers’ compensation–employees would have the burden of showing that the employer engaged in “serious and willful” misconduct in order to get out the limitation of workers’ compensation.
  • How about the family first act, how does that affect us?
  • Since CDC is not an actually Gov agency (quasi private/gov like John Hopkins) – do you see a way this fact would provide relief to canna future suits?
  • Would a thermal video feed like they do in asia help protect a cannabis business from liability?

 

More Questions on Cannabis Industry Liability with Corona Virus?

 

For more information please email [email protected] or complete this form with any questions:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

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