Since California became the first state to legalize weed back in 1996, the cannabis industry has all but exploded into one of the biggest economic forces in all of America. Today, the industry brings in slightly more than $8 billion a year and is projected to shoot up to about $66 billion a year by the time 2025 rolls around (no pun intended). It’s safe to say that the industry is poised for growth and there is one main reason for that – legalization.
Today, 33 states plus D.C have legalized weed for medicinal use and another 10 for recreational use. These are all states where the cannabis industry has introduced new jobs, sources of revenue, and new legislation. Because the cannabis industry is still very much in its infancy, there are a lot of rules and regulations that must be followed to ensure public safety.
The regulating bodies concerned depend on a series of systems to ensure compliance. One of those systems – and perhaps the most integral part – comes in the form of cannabis seed to sale software.
An Introduction to Seed to Sale Tracking Technology
Seed to sale tracking technology is something that came about because regulatory bodies within the cannabis industry needed a way to ensure compliance. The cannabis industry is barely three decades old. As such, there are still so many teething issues as far as public health and safety are concerned. This is an industry that deals directly with consumers by cultivating, packaging and transporting consumables to people, some of whom depend on it for medicinal purposes.
You can see why regulators would want to ensure that everything is on the up and up. For an industry that was illegal not so long ago, a lot has to be done to ensure that it operates legally in this new era. As such, a myriad of regulating bodies have joined hands to make sure that consumers get the best and most hygienic products possible by setting up laws and regulations to govern the industry.
To ensure that industry players are playing by the rules, these bodies needed some form of tracking system linked to a centralized platform where they can access the data needed to verify compliance. Thus, seed to sale tracking software came to be. They are primarily designed to help with compliance. Here are some of the most important compliance stages that a robust seed to sale software has within its framework:
- Cultivation: Within the seed to sale tracking system, there is a way of keeping tabs on every seed upon propagation. Usually, it’s assigned a barcode that acts as a unique identifier throughout its life cycle. This barcode records all the plants’ phases including additives, interactions with people, testing, and so on to ensure that that plant is handled in a manner that adheres to regulations throughout until it’s maturity.
- Harvesting: Several cannabis components are batched by material-type. Each of these new batches receives a new barcode or unique identifier. That new identifier contains the information pertinent to the history of the plant that went into making the component.
- Tests: This is an important part of compliance. All cannabis and associated derivatives are tested for chemicals, harmful additives, and other contaminants that might pose a threat to public health and safety when consumed. These tests results are captured within the system often end up being printed on the product labels. In some states, these product labels are a requirement for compliance.
- Transportation: Just like with air travel, a detailed manifest must be filled out before the transportation of marijuana can begin. This manifest often includes information like the origin of the shipment, what it contains in the form of quantities, the driver’s details, and the destination of the consignment. These reports are available for law enforcement officers to view in real-time so there aren’t any issues with the transportation.
- Point of sale: To complete the chain of custody in a single plant’s life, it is tracked all the way to the point where it’s sold to a customer at the cannabis dispensary.
- Identification and verification of the consumer: When dealing with medical marijuana, you are going to sell to customers who are cardholders and have a prescription for cannabis use. Tracking systems within the industry generate unique IDs for every patient. The information included in that tracking ID varies but tends to be centered around the patient’s name and sales limitations. Dispensaries are not allowed to sell anything past the indicated sales limitations for that patient. This means that if a patient’s sales limitation is 5 ounces a day then they can’t get more than that for fear of misuse or illegal resale.
At the end of the day, the best seed to sale tracking system links to a state-mandated portal such as METRC where all the necessary regulatory information can be found. It’s through this system that law enforcement agencies, as well as the associated regulators, can find the information they need to verify compliance by all cannabis industry players within that given state.
What to Look for in a Leading Seed and Sale Tracking Software
There are several factors to consider when looking for the right seed to sale tracking system for your cannabis business. Here are some of the basic yet important considerations to have in mind:
- A system that connects to METRC: METRC or Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance is one of the main regulatory compliance platforms used by many states where weed is legal. While it can also act as a seed to sale system in its own right, METRC is more of a reference platform where all the other seed to sale software links to ensure that users are staying ahead of the curve as far as compliance is concerned. The reason why having a system that connects to METRC is important is that the laws and regulations that govern the cannabis industry keep changing. Not being able to get these updates automatically or in real-time could present a few compliance issues for industry players. Staying connected to METRC is one way to avoid all that and ensure compliance.
- A system that features robust security: Security is an important part of compliance in the weed industry. As we have mentioned, regulatory bodies keep a close eye on every single plant by giving it a unique identifier. By the time a plant is shipped out in any form – edibles, tinctures and so on – every single ounce has been recorded in the system. Retailers must account for every ounce they receive and sell. If you fail this accountability test, you might risk facing hefty non-compliance fines or even losing your license. Now, security is important in seed to sale software so that you can limit access to your inventory. Not all of your employees are as trustworthy as you would like them to be. Theft for either for their own use or illegal resale is not uncommon. Either way, you are the one that will be accountable for the lost inventory which will cost you revenue and risk your license.
- A system that is capable of reporting and analytics: Reporting is a must as you have to contend with inquiries from regulators. You need a system that can report on every metric that your state regulators require, including the number of ounces received and sold, the different types of strains and components you have in store and their potencies, as well as who you sell them to in the end. Analytics, on the other hand, are really about helping you grow your business. With the right seed to sale system, you can keep track of how the different strains or clones of cannabis perform under certain environments within your grow house. Using this data, you can manipulate a few settings to increase your yield and therefore boost your revenue while remaining compliant.
- A system with built-in age verification and ID scanning: You are going to be selling to licensed customers who have an ID If your system has no way to verify these IDs then you will not comply with state regulations. The system should be able to capture pertinent customer information such as their purchase records, sales limitations, preferred potencies, and so on.
- A system that has purchase limitation tools: As mentioned, you can only sell a specified number of ounces to every given patient every day. Your system should tell you all this upon the scanning of the patient ID.
- A system that is easy to use: You need a system that is not too complicated, at least not on the user end of things. One of the main reasons seed to sale software exists is so they can automate the process of compliance and create efficiency within the weed industry for both law enforcement as well as retailers. Software with a user-friendly interface achieves this without further complications.
You also need affordable seed to sale software. You must find out how much it will cost to operate the system in its entirety. Some vendors lure customers with cheap initial fees only to hit them with hefty charges later when it comes to technical support, customer service, upgrades, and so on.
The Benefits of Using Nugistics as Your Seed to Sale Software
As one of the best and most reliable seed to sale software programs out there, Nugistics has a lot of advantages for those who use it. Here are some reasons why you should install it for your cannabis business today:
- It links to METRC which makes compliance easy.
- It’s easy to use and even easier to teach to your employees.
- It has a built-in POS which will help boost your revenues as well as maintain compliance.
- It has excellent reporting and analytics capabilities.
- It provides you with a robust and comprehensive inventory management system.
Designed with the cannabis industry and compliance requirements in mind, Nugistics is a highly reliable, very affordable, and rather robust seed to sale software that could help instill a high level of efficiency within your enterprise. Give us a call today to find out more about how we can help boost your revenue while maintaining compliance with a user-friendly seed to sale marijuana software.