Prime Wellness of Pennsylvania
Sinking Springs, PA
By definition, the person who heads a company’s compliance operation ensures that it meets the industry’s external regulatory and legal requirements as well as the policies and procedures within the business. But when the business and the industry itself are new, the meaning of compliance rises to a whole new level.
I joined Prime Wellness of Pennsylvania as its first compliance manager in 2018, just a year after it became one of the first 12 companies licensed to grow and process medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.
At Prime Wellness, one of my first tasks was to develop and standardize all the standard operating procedures from scratch — talk about needing a new set of eyeballs! Currently, there are more than 250 pages of SOPs for Prime Wellness. Because it’s a complex industry and every state with a medical marijuana program operates within a unique framework, the regulations are constantly growing and changing, and you have to be able to adapt quickly.
Being in my position isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. Known as the “fun sucker” in the building, I am constantly on top of every move we make in our business. Not only do I need to monitor regulations set forth by the state Department of Health, we must also abide by OSHA standards and local municipality codes in our 30,000-square-foot, indoor growing facility. Keeping an open line of communication to Pennsylvania’s regulators, as well as our other regulators, is a must to help interpret the many complex protocols and procedures so that I can accurately apply them to our everyday business.
When it comes to detail, my job takes it to the Nth degree. I conduct two internal audits a month — one planned, one not — on everything from sanitation to quality control. I am constantly walking around to ensure the facility is top-notch. I promote an open line of communication with all team members so that I can ensure all issues get handled in a timely and efficient manner and I detail everything in a summary that is shared with our high-level managers.
I may be the only one handling compliance, but I don’t work alone. It takes the accountability and cooperation of the entire company, starting with our leadership. To equip all members of the Prime Wellness team with the tools they need, I hold monthly trainings on different topics, whether it’s learning best practices for handling the butane in our BHO lab or about all the ways we use personal protective equipment. I am always available to talk through any manner or concern and am always thinking of new ways to “do better by being better.”
The nature of compliance is change, which keeps me on my toes and makes me be adaptable. Every day is different in my life at Prime Wellness, and that adheres to my personal requirement of learning something new every day.