Without a doubt, the single most important issue for leaders in the cannabis industry is maintaining regulatory compliance. Seed-to-sale tracking, cultivation reporting, chemical processing requirements, tax code compliance – the list goes on and on.
Failing to comply with all local, state, and federal regulations can result in serious consequences for cannabis operators, including substantial fines, permanent operating license bans, and even possible incarceration. This presents real challenges for businesses, particularly if a company has multiple cannabis operations that serve more than one city, county, or state.
The integration of smart solutions can significantly lessen the burden of compliance management in a cannabis business. Many forward-thinking industry leaders find innovative ways to tackle compliance management, integrating automation into various compliance activities to streamline processes, increase accuracy, and reduce labor costs.
Below, we will take a brief look at some of the ways that automation helps cannabis businesses ensure compliance at every regulatory level, setting the stage for success and growth in a booming industry.
Automated Tracking for Cultivators and Dispensaries
Maintaining regulatory compliance in the cannabis industry begins and ends with accurate tracking. Regulation entities across the U.S. rely on METRC software systems, a tracking solution designed specifically for regulators that cannabis businesses must interact with in some way.
METRC tracking begins with cultivators, who receive RFID plant/package tags with unique identification (UID) codes that cultivators can assign to specific plants. These tags remain with the plants until harvest, at which time they are further tracked through assigned package tags.
METRC systems allow regulators to view events associated with the tracking tags at any point in the supply chain, such as harvesting, packing, testing, location, and sales data. The challenge for cannabis businesses is to accurately record all of this data at every step and enter it into the METRC system. This can be an incredibly tedious and time-consuming process all around.
With automated RFID tracking software, cannabis operators can streamline the process of seed-to-sale tracking and METRC reporting. Mobile ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CMS (Cultivation/Crop Management Software) solutions give cannabis operators the ability to scan RFID tags with their smartphones, automatically transferring information directly into central databases for immediate and accurate record keeping.
By further integrating ERP/CMS solutions with METRC software, operators can completely eliminate the need for error-prone manual data entry. Not only does this help ensure compliance, it also significantly reduces long-term costs associated with tracking, record keeping, and reporting.
Pro-tip: Not all ERP/CMS solutions will integrate with METRC software, and the degree of automation capabilities can vary by license type. Before committing to an ERP/CMS solution, cannabis business owners should ensure the solution is a Validated METRC Integrator.
Automation Solutions for Cannabis Testing Laboratories
Cannabis laboratories face unique compliance challenges. In addition to the standard tracking/reporting regulations that all other cannabis businesses must meet, cannabis laboratories must also meet accreditation standards and work to maintain excellence in practice. Proper execution of regulatory protocols throughout the testing process is vital to ensure the smooth functioning of laboratories and the accuracy of analytical data, including strict chain of custody tracking for all testing samples.
Automation and AI technologies in cannabis laboratories have become an integral part of operations, providing labs with various functional improvements, such as:
- Enhanced ability to track and differentiate between recreational and medical cannabis.
- Optimization of testing protocols, labeling, and regulatory reporting.
- Complete Chain of Custody (CoC) tracking.
- Automated record-keeping, including comprehensive audit logs for all lab activities.
- Configurable applications to help laboratories follow 21 CFR Part 11 and ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standards.
- Automated QA/QC protocol management.
Leaving Nothing to Chance
Cannabis businesses navigating the market boom will face increased pressure to maintain compliance with all applicable regulations. Business leaders should leave nothing to chance – integrating automated solutions into compliance processes significantly eases the burden of compliance management by efficiently performing routine regulatory tasks that would otherwise hinder operations.
Cannabis ERP helps solve these issues by providing highly specialized, adaptable, and practical compliance management applications.
Cannabis ERP is Growth
Cannabis ERP helps operators cut costs, improve record-keeping, and maintain compliance. But with real-time comprehensive business data comes valuable operational analytics to effectively project and plan for future trends, ensuring a cannabusiness is ready to meet consumer demand while maximizing growth and maintaining regulatory compliance.
Ready to Grow? Start preparing for your Cannabis ERP project
Your business’s ERP solution should be specific to your needs and flexible enough to quickly adapt to any regulatory or logistical changes. Standardized operations with cannabis ERP software provide cannabis businesses with streamlined routines, allowing the cannabis operators to focus on what really matters: high-quality cannabis products delivered safely and efficiently.