Not adhering to the law is the quickest way for a cannabis operation to accumulate heavy fines and risk getting shut down. But understanding and following state and federal regulations is complex.
Cannabis businesses need solutions to help them run smoothly in a highly competitive and regulated industry. This is where the need for seed-to-sale and track-and-trace software solutions arose. Both can be indispensable to a cannabis operation because they each give cannabis businesses a competitive edge while maintaining aspects of compliance.
But while the terms are often used interchangeably, track and trace software capabilities are in some ways different from seed-to-sale software capabilities. So today, we cover these differences and debunk them as synonymous.
What is Cannabis Track and Trace Software?
Usually, states develop regulatory laws that govern the quality and type of products a cannabis business can cultivate, produce, and sell to the market. To ensure that these laws are followed meticulously, the regulatory entities enforce the track and trace software because, as the name suggests, tracking capabilities of the solution trail every aspect of the cannabis process and record the compliance data.
This ensures that all cannabis businesses’ chain of custody is visible to the state or municipality regulators when tracing compliance issues is needed. For instance, the visibility offered by the track and trace system solution helps enable regulatory bodies to identify fraudulent activities or harmful cannabis products before they enter the market.
And if these issues occur, the regulators can use the system to trace the origins of non-compliance. Track and trace cannabis software ensures compliance with cannabis production standards.
These systems are critical because they provide the compliance data necessary to deploy scarce resources efficiently since they only collect data required by the state and federal regulatory entities.
Understanding Seed to Sale Software
Seed-to-sale systems are designed to track the entire cannabis supply chain starting from the cultivation process to the product’s sale to the customers. The seed-to-sale system tracks and collects data about the type of cannabis plant, how and when it is harvested, the production process, and the distribution of the product until it reaches the customer.
An excellent seed-to-sale solution should also be able to track and record the different variables present within the cannabis supply chain. For instance, in addition to monitoring the temperature and humidity used to grow cannabis plants, the system should also record the type and amount of pesticide, water, and electricity used.
Seed-to-sale systems also provide competitive advantages to cannabis businesses in several ways. Cannabis cultivators can use the data collected from each variable to automate cultivation processes like climate control and irrigation levels.
Tracking these variables throughout the supply chain simplifies identifying the inefficiencies within the supply chain. This, in turn, makes it easier to develop solutions that enhance productivity, yields, and sales for the cannabis business.
Additionally, cannabis businesses use this system to manage critical assets by using data to forecast cultivation productivity, measure profitability, evaluate ROI, and assess the effectiveness of product extraction and distribution.
Every cannabis company must have a seed-to-sale software solution unless the state laws offer deferring regulation rules.
Track and Trace vs. Seed to Sale
Both track and trace and seed-to-sale systems work for the benefit of the cannabis business. Both collect process data that offers visibility into the cannabis business operations. This information is then used to identify inefficiencies that protect the cannabis business output, whether it is through improving processes, product quality, or preventing issues like fraud.
On the other hand, track and trace and seed-to-sale systems have different roles.
Track and trace systems are developed for the regulatory and municipality entities to ensure that the cannabis businesses comply with state and local regulatory laws.
Seed-to-sale systems are developed to collect information regarding the cannabis production process and are used mainly by cannabis businesses to track operations throughout the supply chain.
Cannabis regulators can also use the seed-to-sale systems to collect compliance data, but the track and trace systems are only accessible to the regulatory bodies.
Both are Crucial
To succeed in the cannabis industry, you must stay compliant and competitive. Therefore, both systems are essential for cannabis businesses to thrive. And while cannabis businesses implement seed-to-sale systems to automate and improve business processes, they must choose solutions that accurately collect compliance data to facilitate track and trace systems.
What is Track and Trace?
The state and municipality regulatory entities primarily use track and trace systems to collect compliance data from every licensed cannabis business. This ensures that every cannabis business operates under the state’s compliance guidelines.
What is Seed to Sale?
Seed-to-sale systems are used primarily by cannabis businesses to collect data throughout the cannabis supply chain. As such, it becomes easier to identify inefficiencies within the supply chain and make corrections that improve product quality, production, and sales.
Which is better, track and trace or seed to sale?
Neither. Both the seed-to-sale and the track and trace systems have functions that champion the success of a cannabis business. Therefore, each is important.