Is Your Business Ready for the PG&E Power Outages?

The California Department of Public Health informed cannabis businesses impacted by the PG&E power outage that they can continue operating with a few caveats. Businesses that lose access to CCTT-Metrc, the state’s inventory tracking system, must update the system within three (3) days of regaining access. The state also indicated that businesses without access to CCTT-METRC may not transfer inventory. So how will your business protect its inventory and other assets during this time?

California businesses that are located in areas that are prone to electricity outages or risk of wildfires should consider implementing emergency response and business continuity plans A business continuity plan is a playbook that contains instructions for employees to follow during the emergency. Employees should practice the plan in order to be prepared.

An employee’s actions during a crisis can help protect business operations and keep the employee safe. So what should this playbook contain:

  1. Evacuation plans and steps to make sure that employees are safe.

  2. Employee, emergency services and regulatory agency contact information so that key staff can continue to operate the business and mitigate losses.

  3. Steps to be taken by each team member to protect inventory, get the business up and operating quickly, and to comply with all rules and regulations.

  4. A communication guide for informing employees when and how they should report to work.

  5. A customer outreach program that ensures that long-term revenue is maintained.

Cannabis businesses with multiple locations should develop a process for transferring inventory to another location if there is a risk of loss. Businesses can build redundant systems to ensure that access to the state’s inventory system is maintained throughout the crisis. Reviewing these plans with the state regulator can provide comfort that they meet the regulators’ expectations.

As the PG&E power outages appear to be the new normal in California. Cannabis businesses should collectively work together to understand the risks that this situation poses to the industry. A collaborative approach can help protect asset value and revenues of the cannabis ecosystem.

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