Readying for Federal Legalization
Federal legalization is coming. The only question is when? People are watching the industry closely for the change. They’re readying their proposals and business plans now to jump in when the legislation passes. Operators already working in cannabis are beginning to plan for their product and distribution to be ready when the state lines disappear.
It’s important to form a plan now and begin scaling toward fulfilling nationwide orders for consumers and other businesses alike.
The best way to begin scaling is taking control of your data management. It’s important to ensure your data processes are streamlined, efficient, and up to date before federal legalization comes. Here are some of the most important things to prepare:
Decide on a data management software and train your employees to use it well
Due to the complexity of the cannabis market, there aren’t streamlined or “industry standard” training programs for cannabis professionals. Each state is different and beyond that, each company is different, meaning there aren’t many comprehensive training programs to educate your staff. It’s on you!
It’s imperative to the success of your company to equip your individual staff for success. One way to do this is by providing a thorough knowledge of the software systems you use.
This is important to all steps of the supply chain. Cultivation operations, for example, rely on data management systems to:
- Track how many plants cultivated under their roof
- Track the entire life cycle of each individual plant, from seed to sale for METRC
- Log daily feeds, water, and nutrient schedules to ensure the best harvest possible
- Keep track of who has been in and out of the facility that day and around high-risk merchandise
Retail operations rely on data management systems to:
- Process customer transactions
- Keep track of all sales
- Identify the most and least popular products based on recorded sales
- Log employee hours and other staff information
- Maintain a delivery program and log all activity
Walk into a cultivation or retail operation and you’d soon identify even more ways data management is implemented. While all industries rely on data management the cannabis industry relies on records more than any other industry out there though, simply because of the high-risk association with our business. This will remain true, even after federal legalization.
Adopt models that work in other already-legal industries and translate them to cannabis
Cannabis is different. The industry brings a different set of people with a different perspective on life. We want to be unique, but we need to look at other industries if we want to see success. We’ve never had to compete in a federally legal market, there have been some advantages to that. If federal legalization happens, it opens a whole new world to our industry.
It’s smart to look at models we see other industries already using with great success. How do other industries track sales, for example?
We’ll always have to do things a bit different being a high-risk industry and needing to track things so intricately, but there’s a lot to learn from traditional industries.
According to Lee Dorkin, founding member of Denver-based cannabis management and consulting firm Emprouen Advisors, cannabis companies sometimes lack realistic financial forecasts and models. A lot of times, it’s because they are exiting the black market and entering the legal market. There aren’t financial models in the illicit cannabis market. You get your weed and go and the money is under the mat. Now that we have a legal market, we need to be tracking every portion of our business. Not just for audits but to scale and grow our profitability. Therefore, implementing already-successful models can boost your success and streamline processes.
Identify issues of concern across all software channels over the last few years of business
Can you think of a time where you had any major (or even minor) software issues? Maybe it caused some disruption in your business? Think of all areas of the supply chain: delivery, retail, cultivation, etc. Determine what the problem was and install standard operating procedures that will prevent this from happening again, whether it’s how the user operates it or running regular tests to ensure optimal performance. As updates in the software are rolled out, make sure your entire staff is fully comfortable with the transition and allow them a few weeks to fully adjust.
When it comes to data management, choose Flourish. We are integrated with MERC, as well as the seed-to-sale software tracking system in Florida, Virginia, and Oklahoma. We have received our SOC 2 Type 1 Audit and are nearing closing the SOC 2 Type 2. Partner with us and access easy-to-use software in your cultivation, manufacturing, delivery, and distribution operations.