Commercial real estate took a dive last year as businesses operated from their homes, but a change in regulations has opened the door for a new industry that needs real estate: Cannabis. The trade in cannabis for medical and adult use is growing rapidly. They are eagerly moving into vacant buildings and quickly buying up space as more and more states update their cannabis laws.

Cannabis companies can’t go in blind, however. Cannabis law firms of all sizes – from the smallest startup to the largest firm – face the challenges of regulation, traceability requirements, litigation management standards and, finally, the right technology to get ahead in this promising industry.

Using data to track assets, patients and rules

Because it is a highly regulated industry, cannabis businesses can be investigated at any time. At a minimum, regulators may require evidence of compliance with state restrictions. Cannabis companies can only provide this evidence quickly and easily if they have immediate access to accurate historical data. With this information, they can generate the necessary reports at any time and maintain a reliable audit trail.

Culture is the starting point of the monitoring process.

Historical data is also useful, both for growers who want to identify why some crops are more successful than others, and for retailers who want to improve their customer experience. By tracking everything from mother plants to clones, breeders can build a strong genetic profile and gain a significant competitive advantage. Historical data also helps sellers, which they can use to improve their digital storefronts and track customer information, purchase history and other details that can improve the e-commerce experience.

Vendors must not only keep customer records, but also patient records if they are selling for medical purposes only. It must be ensured that patients only receive products that they are allowed to buy and use.

Use process control to ensure scalability and repeatability of processes

Process control is another important element that every cannabis producer, grower, processor and retailer must have. You need scalable and repeatable processes to avoid workarounds and ensure that each final product meets the same quality standards. When there are no stops, steps can be skipped when employees are in a hurry to meet a deadline or when they just don’t think a particular test or inspection is necessary. Such errors can cause significant harm to a cannabis business, resulting in wasted product, reduced profits and consumer confusion.

Label plants with barcode and date for traceability purposes.

Inventory visibility and control is also a top priority for any business, but it’s especially important in the cannabis industry. Managers must always know where the goods are as they move through the warehouse, otherwise costs and waste are created. By assigning scanners and barcodes directly to the right technology, companies can ensure that all products are captured and can be easily located using real-time data.

Creating a foundation for scalability

Cannabis companies do not have the time to keep track of these things manually, nor would they be able to as they grow and expand their operations. As they evolve, so does the list of software needed for smooth, reliable and efficient operation.

Cannabis processors have traditionally invested in technology from seed to sale and rely on barcodes to track products throughout their lifecycle. While it is very important for cannabis companies to have a high degree of control over batch tracking, this type of software is very limited. As a result, cannabis companies benefit most from a single ERP solution that provides real-time, centralized access to critical business information.

ERP technology can also help cannabis companies better manage production schedules, material needs planning, accounting, purchasing, inventory management and document creation. The key, however, is to choose the right technology and avoid ERP solutions that rely on customizations and add-ons that get in the way of business scalability. Instead, cannabis companies should use technology that makes all features, enhancements, and expansions available to all customers, so that every user has access to the same benefits.

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