Product lifecycle tracking is a necessary and critical aspect of running a cannabis business. As the industry continues to grow, so does the need for a proper seed-to-sale tracking system to help cannabis companies take full advantage of their inventory tracking and distribution systems and stay compliant.
If you want to start a cannabis business, or if you’re already in the game but want to improve your current system, you must know the best resources that are out there. The following guide will give you an overview of what must be considered when choosing a seed-to-sale tracking system for your cannabis businesses. But first of all…
What is seed-to-sale tracking?
Seed-to-sale tracking is the use of technologies or systems that allows cannabis growers to track their products from the moment the seed is planted until it’s sold. This process can be used to create an audit trail that complies with state regulations, which are essential for businesses in this industry.
The life cycle of a cannabis product is a long one, and it involves many supply chains and transactions. With seed-to-sale tracking, cannabis businesses can stay on the right side of the law regarding cannabis sales.
Why cannabis firms need seed-to-sale tracking
Cannabis businesses can use seed-to-sale tracking systems for different purposes:
- To ensure that all plants are grown under optimal conditions to produce high-quality cannabis products (e.g., testing for mould or other contaminants)
- To provide accurate information about where each plant was grown, who grew it and when it was harvested.
- To prevent cannabis from being diverted to states where it is illegal.
- To comply with state regulations.
Seed-to-sale tracking is a consumer protection strategy
A lot goes into the production of cannabis products. First, seeds are planted, grown and harvested under different conditions to produce various strains. Once this process is completed, each product must be tested, inspected, and taxed before it can be sold to a consumer in a dispensary or online.
Without this system, it would be difficult for regulators to identify which products were contaminated or tainted with illegal substances or if they were free from harmful contaminants.
Seed-To-sale tracking is essential from a public health standpoint
From a public health standpoint, seed-to-sale tracking is essential because it helps ensure that consumers are consuming products that have been tested and verified. Seed-To-Sale Tracking also helps protect businesses from being defrauded or having their intellectual property stolen by other companies.
For example, suppose a company is growing their brand of cannabis, and some of its plants need replacing due to contamination issues or other unforeseen complications. In that case, seed-to-sale tracking will help verify the authenticity of those new plants so no one accidentally misidentifies them as belonging to someone else.
How does the seed-to-sale tracking system work?
A seed-to-sale tracking system combines hardware and software implementation. The hardware portion of this system may include tags, which are attached to the cannabis plants during their lifecycle. The tags collect data such as location, time, and actions taken by employees. That information is then sent to an app where you can see real-time data about inventory levels, production costs, sales volumes and more.
The tracking system can be automated with sensors that track the watering and fertilizing of plants and then collect data on temperature, light intensity and other environmental factors to indicate when each plant is ready for sale.
There are two main types of seed-to-sale systems: manual and automated tracking systems. Manual systems require employees at each facility or dispensary location to log data into the system manually. Automated systems use sensors on each tray throughout a growing facility, so there’s no need for manual entry after plants have been harvested or transported offsite.
What cannabis businesses need to know establishing a seed-to-sale tracking system
a. How to stick to regulatory requirements
Before choosing a seed-to-sale tracking system, you need to understand what is required of your state’s seed-to-sale tracking system. Your seed-to-sale tracking system should be part of an integrated compliance and business management platform that provides inventory management and a company-wide view of operations.
Some states have relatively simple requirements, while others have precise and rigorous rules that must be followed precisely. For example, a state may require that growers and processors maintain detailed records using a specific cannabis plant tag number.
In contrast, other states require far less detail in their record-keeping systems. Some states can also require that all cannabis products be tested by a third-party lab and have a unique identifier such as an RFID tag or barcode on each package. Other states may require that every plant has its unique barcode to track its origin from seed through harvest, processing, packaging and sales.
As a cannabis businesses, you must integrate regulatory requirements into your seed-to-sale tracking system. After all, the tracking system was created to aid regulatory compliance.
b. How to create an effective software implementation
One of the best ways to start your seed-to-sale tracking system is by purchasing software that automates and simplifies the process. In the United States, some states use BioTrack, while others use Metrc to report inventory and transactional data to their state regulators. If you don’t accurately report with Metrc and BioTrack, your business could get into trouble with regulators.
c. How to classify products
You will also need to implement procedures in your cultivation, manufacturing, and processing facilities to ensure accurate classification of all products at all stages of production.
If you use an electronic system that tracks products from seed to sale, it is required that products are classified as either medical or recreational. This is usually done by having a field for “Preference” (medical) or “Cannabis Use Type” (recreational). In addition, depending on your state requirements, there may also be fields for tax rate or regulatory compliance status. The most important thing here is ensuring these fields exist so that your system can correctly classify each product at every stage in its life cycle and also account for taxes during transactions.
As you can see, seed-to-sale tracking is an indispensable part of running a cannabis businesses. It allows growers, processors and dispensaries to stay on top of their inventory and ensure that no product goes missing or unaccounted for. This can help them avoid problems like fines from the state or law enforcement agencies, as well as lawsuits from customers who think they’ve been ripped off.
At RADD CANN, cannabis compliance is our speciality. We will work with your business to implement seed-to-sale software that includes compliant product classification systems and procedures in your cultivation, manufacturing, and processing facilities. We also provide strategies for laboratories and transportation operations. Contact us