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Cannabis and Emergency Action Plans: What You Need To Know

On Election day, November 3rd, 2020, five states, Arizona, New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana, and Mississippi, will be voting on measures to introduce legal cannabis to their communities. Arizona, New Jersey, Montana are looking to introduce recreational cannabis; Mississippi is voting on medicinal cannabis; South Dakota will be voting to legalize both medicinal and recreational. With these states pushing to introduce regulated cannabis markets, now is the time to discuss the need for an Emergency Action Plan (EAP), often a state-mandated requirement when applying to obtain a cannabis business license.

What is an Emergency Action Plan (EAP)?

An Emergency Action Plan is a document held on file by a business entity that states the plan of action in case of emergency. For instance, the EAP has a detailed description of what employees should do in case of a natural disaster or a physical safety threat.

Why does my business need an EAP?

Your cannabis business is required to have an EAP on file according to OSHA, which is a regulatory agency for the U.S. Department of Labor in charge of overseeing occupational safety and health. All licensed cannabis businesses must have a current EAP in order to apply for and maintain a cannabis business license.

What do I put in my EAP?

That’s a great question. Oftentimes it can be confusing to figure out exactly what needs to be included in the EAP, and it often depends on specific state regulations. At a minimum, OSHA requires that an EAP have a plan of action for these events:

  • Procedures for reporting a fire or other emergency situations

  • Procedures for emergency evacuations

  • Procedures to be followed by critical staff who must stay behind during an emergency

  • Procedures to account for all employees after evacuation

  • Procedures to be followed by employees performing rescue or medical duties

  • The name or job title of every employee who may be contacted by employees who need more information about the plan or an explanation of their duties under the plan

The EAP must also contain details about an employee alarm system as well as training guidance so that all employees know their role during an emergency. In Massachusetts for example, employers are required to provide 8 hours of Responsible Vendor Training annually, with an emphasis on employee safety.

How can ACS Safe help with your EAP?

ACS Safe strives to provide first rate employee personal safety solutions for your cannabis business. We ensure your business is prepared by providing a functional employee safety solution that satisfies regulatory requirements. For instance, our All Clear System™ is ready to provide a procedure for you to account for all employees after evacuation. ACS Safe is ready to work with you to identify and implement solutions to your employee personal safety issues. Contact us today for a free 1-hour demo.

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