The legal cannabis industry has been growing at an unprecedented pace, but that growth is not without its challenges. State regulations are changing on a regular basis, and laws vary widely between jurisdictions. To complicate matters further, individual states like California require medical dispensaries to maintain records for up to seven years – meaning your business needs to be able to track compliance issues over time. These requirements can be challenging for even the most experienced cannabis business owner; however, there are ways to stay compliant while still focusing on the more important parts of your cultivation operation.
Watch changing regulations
Cannabis is still an illegal controlled substance under federal law, which means every state has developed its own set of regulations. As of now, recreational cannabis use is legal in 19 states and medical marijuana use is legal in 39 states (and D.C.). More many states, cannabis regulation is under the same umbrella as public health.
State lawmakers have started to standardize regulatory compliance by contracting track-and-trace systems, including Metrc and Biotrack. This has helped establish similar compliance requirements for the cannabis market.
Diversify product types
As a cannabis business owner, you will likely be selling different types of cannabis products to your customers. While flower is still the most popular form of cannabis for recreational users, there are product types quickly growing in popularity that that people may prefer over dried flower.
Diverse product types mean you will need to track all your inventory in different ways. For example:
- Cannabis edibles and concentrates require different tracking methods than raw materials like trim or shake (dried leaves). These products can be tricky to handle because they are often made using extracts from plant material that has been processed into oils and waxes. To ensure compliance with state regulations, these items must be accounted for separately from raw materials used in their creation; otherwise you'll risk being unable to pass a regulatory inspection or audit if they're not properly tracked together as one unit at each stage through production and distribution channels.
- Cannabis topicals—like lotions and salves—are another type of product that requires special rules around handling by employees due to health concerns with exposure levels being higher than those found on flowers themselves due to absorption into skin layers during application processes like massage therapy treatments where rubbing occurs often throughout treatments sessions which means workers could get dosed unintentionally while working hard under stressful conditions having little time left over after hours spent tending sick patients who have no choice but wait patiently until relief arrives tomorrow morning when hopefully someone shows up early enough before noon hour rush hour traffic slows down traffic flow speeds making it difficult getting anywhere fast but especially back home again
High volume, just in time delivery
The best way to streamline your supply chain is with high volume, just in time delivery.
With this model, you need to know what to expect and when. You also have to be able to track and trace your product. This helps ensure that everyone involved—from growing facilities, product manufacturers and distributors—is aware of where the products are at all times and can respond quickly if there’s a problem with any one part of the process. However, this method is dependent on meticulous record-keeping.
High volume, just in time delivery also makes it easier for you stay compliant with changing regulations by enabling greater efficiency throughout all stages of the supply chain.
Grow in scale and complexity
With increased demand for cannabis products and more sophisticated cultivation methods, you can expect to see new tracking and reporting requirements coming your way. You may also have to do the following:
- Track your greenhouse's energy use
- Report information on product testing and quality control activities
- Document changes in growing locations or processes
The traditional methods of compliance reporting are too slow and manual to keep up with the volume of data, transactions and products. In order to meet these demands, business owners need a solution that can streamline their compliance processes. Until the cannabis industry has established standard operating procedures and business best practices, each operation is doing what works best for them.
Use new tech to keep up with cannabis regulations
One of the most important things for any cannabis business to do is stay compliant with state laws. But as laws change frequently, this can be challenging for even the most experienced growers, processors and dispensary owners who are used to operating within the confines of a strict regulatory framework. A quality software solution will help you stay compliant with your state regulations and give you a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Find a seed-to-sale tracking system
A seed-to-sale tracking system is an electronic record of a company's cannabis inventory, including plants, products and waste. Seed-to-sale systems are used to ensure that every plant or product that enters or leaves a licensed cultivation facility is accounted for.
The requirements for a seed-to-sale tracking system depend on your state's regulations; however, there are some standard features that most software providers include in their services:
- A user interface (UI) to enter data such as harvest dates and weights or container sizes
- Integration with third party compliance software like Metrc or Biotrack so you can share data between systems
- Business intelligence reporting for operational efficiency
The cannabis industry is changing at an incredible pace. New regulations are rolled out almost daily, and it can feel like there’s no time to keep up. But with the right tools, you can make sure your business stays compliant and stays profitable. A good seed-to-sale tracking system will help you keep track of your inventory and make sure nothing goes missing in the supply chain—and that’s extremely important when dealing with an increasingly valuable product!