Want to Open a Cannabis Dispensary? What to Know About New Staff Training Rules

cannabis retailer training

The provincial government has long promised that all employees of cannabis retail stores, including those who hold a Retail Store Authorization or a Cannabis Retail Manager Licence, will have to pass an employee training program approved by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

Recently, the details of that training program, which is called CannSell Certification, were announced. Let’s take a look at what this certification program covers and what it means for anyone interested in opening a cannabis dispensary.

CannSell Certification Takes 4 Hours and Can Be Taken Entirely Online

The CannSell Certification is offered through cannabis technology company Lift & Co. and was developed by them in partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). It is currently the only certification program approved by the AGCO and is required for anybody who wants to work at a cannabis store.

CannSafe Certification is an online program and takes about 4 hours to complete

CannSafe Certification is an online program and takes about 4 hours to complete

The certification includes a training program and final exam, which is done online and takes about 4 hours to complete. Questions such as “What does THC stand for?” (answer: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and “True or False: Cannabis affects everyone the same way?” (answer: false) could be included on the exam. These were in the sample exam recently released, and help to offer a glimpse into the knowledge professionals will need to demonstrate to pass the exam.

The purpose of the certification is to ensure that cannabis store employees are selling cannabis responsibly and that they are conveying accurate information about cannabis to customers. It even helps employees identify and refuse service to intoxicated customers.

There Will Be Two Levels of Certification

Students in cannabis retailer training might be interested to know that Lift & Co. is offering two levels of CannSell certification: Standard and Expert. The Standard level of CannSell certification is mandatory for all employees working at a cannabis retail store along with anybody who holds a Retail Store Authorization or a Cannabis Retail Manager Licence. Expert certification is not mandatory, but it may be a good idea if you are serious about pursuing a career in cannabis. The Expert certification covers advanced knowledge, such as how cannabis is used as a medication, the process of growing to packaging, and how it interacts with the body.

CannSafe Standard Certification is mandatory for anybody who works at a cannabis retail store

CannSafe Standard Certification is mandatory for anybody who works at a cannabis retail store

What Does This Mean for Students in Cannabis Retail Courses?

To become CannSell certified, you won’t just need to get a majority of the questions on the exam right; instead, you’ll need a score of at least 80 percent. You’ll only have two chances of taking the test, and if you fail to reach that 80 percent threshold on either attempt, then you will have to pay the $49.99 fee to start the whole process over again.

So, if you want to become CannSell certified, it can be helpful to prepare beforehand. Taking cannabis retail courses can help you learn about federal cannabis regulations and more, which can help you feel more confident about your prospects. While completing AAPS’ Cannabis – Management, Quality and Laboratory program isn’t a prerequisite for taking CannSell certification, it helps those interested in opening a dispensary develop in-depth knowledge of the field, so that they can approach their career with confidence.

Do you want to open a cannabis dispensary?

Find out how AAPS’s cannabis programs can help!