The rules for the cannabis industry vary widely from one state to the next, and customer complaints, returns, and product recalls are no exception. Some states have very detailed requirements for documenting and investigating these processes, but many states – especially the states with older or vaguer medical marijuana laws – fail to address these at all. But just because your state doesn’t have requirements, does that mean these processes are any less important? For many owners and operators, the answer is yes, because it’s easier. But what happens if somebody gets food poisoning or worse from a product that was contaminated and should’ve been recalled? What happens if a person gets ill from a product and notifies your staff, but they don’t document it or notify the manufacturer?
Create a process for customer complaintsIt’s important to create a formal complaint documentation, product recall, and product return procedures. At the minimum, I recommend creating a product complaint form for your employees to document the following information:
⁃ Customer name
⁃ Date of complaint
⁃ Cultivator or manufacturer license number
⁃ Product name
⁃ Harvest batch number or production batch number
⁃ Date of purchase
⁃ A description of the complaint, including any symptoms if the customer is feeling physically ill
⁃ A method to indicate the complaint is urgent if the customer is physically ill
⁃ A section for management to review, take additional notes, and determine appropriate action.
Of course, you should also create a follow-up procedure to investigate complaints after they’ve been documented, especially if a complaint involves potential health concerns related to a product. Employees should instruct any customer that complains about feeling physically ill to seek advice from a medical professional. You should never place returned products back into sellable inventory, as they may have been contaminated or adulterated and could pose a risk to other consumers.
Best practices aren’t just about solving problems you run into every day. They’re about thinking ahead and being prepared for almost any situation that can come up. Some of these situations are tough to predict, and there isn’t a lot you can do. But with all the resources available to the cannabis industry today, many companies can help you and your team be prepared. Contact us today for more info!