There was a time when ideas such as seed to sale software for legal marijuana growth and distribution was the stuff of fantasies, not real life. But since the 2016 elections and the legalization of cannabis in conservative states such as Florida, North Dakota, and Arkansas, legal weed is very much here to stay. To date, 33 states plus D.C. have legalized it for medical purposes and ten have legalized it for recreational use. That's a vast majority of the states in the U.S where people can legally trade in weed.
So, of course, this led to offshoots within the industry. One is the popularity of seed to sale software. Today, the weed industry is projected to create many more jobs that even manufacturing by 2020! That in itself shows you how vibrant this industry is and may very well play a major role in the country's economy in years to come.
What is Seed to Sale Software?
If you know weed, then you will be surprised to hear that, thanks to its sale, there is a whole new area of software development that has created a host of tech startups and even made a fortune for a few.
To understand seed to sale software, you must first understand why this kind of software became necessary in the first place. Since this is a new industry within which the key product was once considered illegal (and still is in some states...maybe not for long), it's natural that the government would want to give it strict oversight to make sure that people do not carry old illegal ways of doing things into what is now a legal field. Also, public safety is a concern, too.
These state regulatory agencies, which range from the FCC to OSHA, want to have a tracking system where they can learn the life stories of every seed, from the moment it hits the ground to when it's sold as one of the many different forms of weed through licensed dealers. Since they can't do this physically - it creates a logistical nightmare - they have found a way to create a network where every licensed dealer does their own reporting following a strict set of guidelines to determine their compliance. This reporting is often done through seed to sale software in conjunction with METRC, a regulatory solution that was designed for government agencies tasked with tracking marijuana and ensuring compliance.
To do all this, seed to software companies have created systems that help both the government and licensed dealers communicate and maintain compliance.
How Does Seed to Sale Software Work?
The simple explanation is that robust seed to sale software acts as a database where every industry player documents and keeps detailed information about every single cannabis plant. You see, the government wants to know where every ounce of weed you sell comes from and where it goes. To achieve this, they need a centralized location where this information is stored by every licensed dealer. Somewhere they can gain access to and see chronological documentation of every plant. That centralized location is your chosen seed to sale software.
The fact that seed to sale software plays a crucial role in transparency within the cannabis industry makes it a vital part of the market. Every single entity that has anything to do with legalized weed needs seed to sale software solutions or some version of it.
The first and most important function of seed to sale software is to support the businesses that lie across the cannabis supply chain. The right software not only helps you manage inventory but also automates compliance with your state and municipal regulations.
Furthermore, the right kind of seed to sale software is also designed to protect the consumer. It does this by tracking every single touchpoint within the cannabis supply chain. This starts with cultivation and goes through to the point-of-sale. So, if any kind of fertilizer was used, the system records that. If there were any kind of lab tests run to determine potency, the system will record that, too. By the end, the system contains all the necessary information about every single seed. That information is necessary for keeping consumers safe and business owners informed and compliant with government regulations.
Who Needs Seed to Sale Software?
One thing you need to realize about the cannabis industry as it is right now is that it's unique. For one thing, it's a new industry that was once operating outside of the law which means that there are going to be a lot of provisions and revisions before it is fully regulated. Secondly, it combines several industries including manufacturing, healthcare, distribution, agriculture, and retail.
All this can be found in this single and vertically integrated market that is trying to find its legs. That it's already a billion-dollar industry means there are going to be many more agencies, players, and regulations in the future to streamline the operations with public safety and huge profits in mind.
As things stand, the seed to sale software niche is perfectly placed. Because the weed industry is now very closely monitored and rigorously regulated, every single entity looking to remain licensed and compliant is looking for ways to get their hands on the best seed to sale software.
The right software touches on every aspect of the industry, which is segmented into four main categories:
- Cultivation: These are the farmers who grow the different strains of weed.
- Extraction: These are the companies that go to great lengths to extract terpenes and cannabinoids from the cannabis flower to produce the extracts which typically include wax, oil, shatter, crumble, and so on.
- Distribution: These are the companies that distribute the extracted and manufactured products to sellers across the country including medical dispensaries, recreational stores, and other retailers.
- Retailers: These are the people who sell you the different types of weed in the dispensaries and recreational stores.
Within these four main categories, there are other services, including things like processing, lab tests, and technology companies that create systems like seed to sale software. All these companies must be within the seed to sale system so that the governing regulatory body can easily track the life cycle of each seed from the farmer to the user, no matter how many points within this chain it touches. That is why seed to sale software is very important, it helps these bodies carry out this tracking meticulously.
Why is Seed to Sale Software Important to the Cannabis Industry for Regulators?
Apart from the fact that seed to sale software helps industry stakeholders such as growers, distributor, and resellers run a smooth and compliant business, there is one other stakeholder who make very good use of this system as well: regulators.
Here are some ways through which regulators need and use seed to sale software across the cannabis industry:
- Chain of custody tracking: Perhaps the most important part of this system for regulators is the chain of custody tracking. The system allows them to follow a clearly marked paper trail showing everything they need to know about how the seed was handled from the moment it hit the dirt to the moment it landed in the customer's hands. This means everything from custody, transfer, control, analysis, and even disposition of unfit products across the cannabis supply chain.
- Tax purposes: Within the tracking systems in place, seed to sale software helps regulators keep tabs on which companies are following the state’s tax requirements. As already mentioned, this used to be a highly illegal industry and, even though it is a legal and legitimate business now, there just hasn't been enough time for all the illegal residue to wash off it. There are still those who like to play fast and loose with the regulations, especially where taxation is concerned. These systems help put checks and balances for these things in place.
- Industry standardization: As mentioned earlier, the main focus of these regulators is to ensure public safety. As such, there are standards in place to ensure that customers only get the best grade of weed. This means that regulations are governing how certain strains are grown, what kind of fertilizer is used, and what kind of handling is permitted to ensure the purest and safest end product. Seed to sale software helps track all this by meticulously documenting every step the seed takes from its germination to sale.
Through this kind of tracking, regulators can rely on seed to sale software to make tough industry decisions, such as recalling a certain batch of products because they noticed some kind of compromise along the chain of custody. This chain of custody tracking allows regulators to identify and pinpoint the exact times, situation, batch number, and the reasons that led to the compromise. It also allows them to determine how bad the compromise in quality or handling was and create checks and balances to ensure that such instances are minimized or outlawed if necessary.
So, for regulators, seed to sale software benefits them in the following ways:
- It provides them with the necessary tools to enforce the law and regulations.
- Allows them to ensure that all licensed dealers are adhering to the set laws and regulations.
- It helps them find better ways to keep the public safe even as the various regulatory bodies grapple with the fact that this is a new industry and fully regulating it might take some time.
Why is Seed to Sale Software Important in the Cannabis Industry for Operators and Consumers?
For both operators and consumers, the right seed to sale software helps achieve similar goals: the production, distribution, and consumption of a premium product that is not only safe, regulated, and standardized but also easy to track all the way back to the roots. These are the things that matter now, especially because we live in a world where people want to know all the ingredients that go into what they ingest thanks to an ever-growing list of allergies and drug interaction side effects. The right seed to sale software helps:
- Operators mitigate risks that come with a shortfall in oversight and compliance.
- It provides operators with a better vantage point into their entire business thus allowing them to pinpoint which parts need improvement.
- It helps companies improve profitability because they work with cold hard facts that can be backed up with data from the system.
As for consumers, the right seed to sale software protects them in the following ways:
- The consumer is well protected for buying any damaged, contaminated, or substandard products. This is very unlike in the past where the consumer had to rely on the credibility of their illegal weed dealer for the "good stuff".
- Consumers get to know exactly where their product is coming from which allows them to feel more comfortable when using it.
- Thanks to extensively stringent labeling requirements by most states, consumers now know exactly what has gone into making their favorite cannabis product. This means that they can rest easy knowing that they are not risking any allergic reactions whenever they use these products.
Finding the right seed to sale software is the first step to running a highly profitable, compliant, and efficient weed business. It takes time to learn how to use the most robust seed to sale systems but the good thing about it is that they are often user-friendly and once you learn the basics, you are good to go. You are, however, advised to learn the entire system, especially how it applies to compliance with laws and regulations. Generally speaking, these systems are built with the cannabis industry in mind and are therefore as intuitive as it gets.