Aida L. Sanchez provides regulatory compliance and strategic advice to clients of Porzio Compliance Services across a range of industries and with a specific focus on the compliance needs of cannabis start-ups and existing businesses at any stage of their cannabis journey – “from seed to sale.”
“I specialize in navigating the intricate municipal application process for cannabis retailers seeking recreational licenses, a daunting challenge that can hinder businesses from realizing their dreams. Despite these formidable hurdles, I have successfully secured numerous recreational licenses for clients, notably playing a pivotal role in establishing the first cannabis retailers in Roselle and Jersey City.”
Before joining Porzio Compliance Services, Aida was the CEO and owner of EOC Technology Innovations LLC, a minority woman-owned business and consulting company based in Jersey City that focused on enhancing the security of public and private company operations. For ten years previously, Aida served as the Deputy Coordinator for the Jersey City Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, the first Latina to hold that title.
Aida has earned a reputation throughout New Jersey as an effective and trustworthy compliance consultant with a talent for nurturing the growth of new entrants to the legalized cannabis industry. Her significant background and industry contacts in municipal government and emergency management implementation is further enhanced by her access to colleagues at Porzio Compliance Services, who guide businesses on the implementation of best practices for data collection and retention, corporate policies and procedures, and reporting/response processes. Aida’s team provides audits of existing cannabis businesses to ensure ongoing state and municipal regulatory compliance.
In addition, because Porzio Compliance Services is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the law firm of Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, P.C. (Porzio), Aida can support her cannabis clients with appropriate legal counsel from attorneys who focus on land use and real estate related to site-selection and build-out, intellectual property for protecting and enforcing assets, corporate counsel for vendor contracts and business operations including financing, and employment counsel for HR needs such as recruitment, retention and compliance with employment laws. Aida’s team also stays on top of governmental affairs and the impact of legislative changes on business operations, through relationships with Porzio Governmental Affairs.
Cannabis Consulting & Application Writing
Aida’s clients include those who seek to operate as a dispensary, cultivator, distributor or manufacturer, and as such are required to apply for cannabis licenses from the State of New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission. The merit-based application process is competitive and complex, and requires precision, expertise, adherence to tight deadlines, and access to a solid team of compliance and legal professionals.
Clients turn to Aida for submission of annual, conditional and conversion applications in classes including cultivation, manufacturing, wholesale, distribution and retail/bulk delivery. In addition, she works for micro-businesses, social equity applicants, impact zone applicants, and diversely owned businesses seeking licensing.
Aida’s strength in technical application drafting includes her ability to address the multiple sections that include operations plans, business plans, security plans, architectural drawings, principal biographies, marketing plans and many other required documents.
In the cannabis industry particularly, the security of the business operations and assets is a priority. Aida advises clients on technical security application writing, risk assessments, emergency operations plans and security implementation. Aida provides recommendations on various aspects of physical security impacting business operations including the development of command and control processes, documentation of activities and occurrences, access control, surveillance, and internal and external communications.
The legal and regulatory boundaries specific to the cannabis industry apply not only to operations, licensing, and security but also to the safety of the product itself and the relevant packaging, labeling, marketing, and advertising restrictions.