Nobody wants to talk about Licensing – 3 important steps for improving your experience

September 25, 2022 | 10:15 am | Room 1 | Compliance, Operations Management

Nobody enjoys licensing but without an “in good standing / current” license you could lose your business. This session will present three steps to improve your licensing experience:

1. Organization of corporate documentation. The importance of this step is to be compliant with record keeping requirements, using the regulations as a guide to develop a system for tracking and the retention of initial documentation / information to be collected, maintained and provided with all licensing applications as well as maintaining detailed, accurate historical data. This process will lead to less frustration and time involved in completing and submitting accurate applications.

2. Find someone in your company or a licensing professional with strong organizational skills, the ability to follow instructions, read and apply regulations. The importance of this step is to understand what the regulations say in order to be able to ask questions during the licensing process or to push back on requested documentation, if necessary, based on regulation requirements and codes. In addition, understanding the regulations will assist in creating a record keeping system that is not only essential for licensing but also in establishing the retention and organization of your company’s historical data.

3. Develop relationships with local and State officials and employees. The importance of this step is crucial to creating an environment and reputation that reflects cooperation and trust and leads to mutual respect. That relationship can influence changes to reporting, processes, procedures, applications, etc., easing the tension and/or burden between regulators and business owners.

Karen Thomas, CEO, Canna Support Services LLC

Karen has worked in the heavily regulated Colorado marijuana industry for the past seven years and is considered an expert in licensing. She began her career in the Marijuana industry with Medicine Man working as Andy Williams’ right hand person and taking on all Medicine Man’s licensing as well as project manager overseeing the buildouts of two dispensaries. Karen submitted the first approved Publicly Traded Company’s application for Suitability and Change of Ownership after Colorado HB 19-1090 was passed as well as the first Denver approved Marijuana Research and Development application.

Prior to joining the marijuana industry, Karen assisted in writing and receiving a ~$1M cooperative agreement from the National Energy Technology Laboratory for a startup company that took brackish water from oil and gas drilling and turned it into distilled water. She was instrumental in obtaining permits and licensing two multi-million-dollar facilities in Pennsylvania for that start up. While working in the banking industry, Karen applied for and received FHA Approved Lender status for the local bank. She is a seasoned public speaker and has served on various Boards and Committees over the years, most recently as Chairperson of the Board of Directors for a Federal Credit Union.