Have you ever wondered how cultivators, distributors, dispensaries, and state agencies track legal medical marijuana sales? Seed-to-sale technology is the key to protecting dispensaries legally, safeguarding patients from tainted products, and ensuring legal purchase regulations are followed. However, another point about the tech—the popular software isn’t only practical. In many states, it is a requirement. It does not matter whether you are producing marijuana flowers or CBD oil for sale; the local state laws and guidelines adhere.
What is Seed-to-Sale Technology?
seed-to-sale software tracks medical cannabis plants from the seed (or clone) to the sale. It helps licensed cannabis cultivators track where every one of their plants and their final destinations. Each plant gets a unique identifying number that stays with it from start to finish. So, for example, a distributor looking up the number can learn where the plant was grown when it was harvested and what lab verified the safety of its originating batch.
Many programs follow everything from the cultivation stats to the harvest, manufacturing, transport, and distribution. The software assists growers with state law compliance and is an excellent tool for growing their business and high-quality plants. Programs can be simple or complex, with multiple options for customization. As a result, the software benefits a wide range of business types, from small farms producing exotic strains for local dispensaries to multi-state storefronts in recreational and medical cannabis legal jurisdictions.
How Does Seed-to-Sale-Tracking Work?
The basic life cycle of the cannabis plant is easy to follow.
- Planting the seed or clone
- Seedlings grow (2-3 weeks)
- Vegetative stage (3 to 16 weeks)
- Flowering stage (8 to 11 weeks)
- Curing process
- Sale to customer
Other steps for concentrates, edibles, topicals may include,
- Infusion tracking
- Transfers to different areas of the manufacturing location
Tech to Protect Dispensaries
Many states with medical programs require licensed growers and cannabis dispensaries to use a tracking system for compliance. For example, Colorado has a daily limit on concentrate purchases. seed-to-sale software helps legal sellers keep track of these restrictions and prevent excess sales.
Colorado House Speaker, Alec Garnett, who recently helped pass the state legislation approving the use of tracking programs, explained his support of the bill,
“It’s hard to have a daily limit if no one’s tracking what you’re buying per transaction.”
The software doesn’t track specific patients, which is where confidentiality concerns come into play. However, it’s possible to make these connections with future upgrades. Currently, the state looks for the number of products sold per day.
Nonetheless, seed-to-sale products are necessary to protect the dispensary’s license and reduce liability.
It makes sense that legal changes in software requirements are happening in Colorado before other jurisdictions. The state was the first to implement tracking software for medical and recreational cannabis cultivation and sales.
Technology Protecting Patients
Tracking technology is also about protecting legal buyers. The software tracks each plant. If there’s any contamination or problem found with one plant or product, the detailed system can help identify every dispensary that purchased the specific batch of flowers or concentrate. For example, an audit finds irregularities with the analysis of plants from a farm in Orange County. The system can alert all product distributors, and those sellers can issue a blanket recall notice to customers.
Although all reputable brands put safety above all other matters and send a sample from each batch of flowers or final product to a third-party laboratory for quality control, mistakes happen. It’s better to be safe than have a patient use flowers, oils, or other concentrates that aren’t safe. In addition, many medical cannabis buyers have underlying medical conditions that can make any type of contamination more dangerous to their health.
Benefits of Seed-to-Sale Software for Cultivators
The days of illegal cannabis sales haven’t disappeared. There’s a thriving black market that’s hurting growers that follow the rules. The tech protects cultivators as much as dispensaries. When licensed cannabis farms sell to the black market, they’re helping more people buy unregulated, untaxed flowers and extract.
These regulations are helping growers and sellers.
Taras Filenko, CEO of Seed Cannabis Co., in Tulsa, explains,
“People that are cheating the system make it difficult for guys like us that are trying to do it the right way.”
On a more positive note, cultivators can use the software to improve their bulk sales to dispensaries. Different programs can help them track essential areas of their business, such as
- Plant genealogy
- Grow conditions (Nutrients, humidity, temperature, water, and pH)
- Crop yield
- Cultivation costs
- Cost per gram analysis
Monitoring systems for growing conditions ensure your customers get the same products with every purchase. Additionally, reviewing all the data can show owners different areas to optimize and increase yield or reduce operating expenses.
Another benefit for cultivators is security. When you’re growing corn and tomatoes, protecting plants from thieves isn’t a concern. However, anyone cultivating millions of dollars worth of cannabis flowers wants to ensure no one walks off with a few hundred dollars or more of product. In addition to video surveillance and alarms, a tracking system for each plant can prevent sticky fingers. The right program can tell the owner who was working when the plant went missing and any vendors that might have been at the facility at the time of theft.
Benefits of Seed-to-Sale Technology for Medical Dispensaries
Medical sales locations experience many of the same advantages as cultivators. Along with protecting themselves from liability and the validity of their license, they can also track purchases, inventory, and deliveries. The dispensary owner can use this information to see which products are popular and which aren’t selling. Additionally, several programs help dispensaries track employee’s hours and tax information.
Another advantage of the cannabis tech is safety. Flowers don’t have an exact “use by” date, but they will lose their potency after a while. To keep customers happy, dispensaries need to keep an eye on the age of their flowers and pre-rolls. As the dates get closer to the “stale” range, owners might offer discounts on the aging flower to earn some profit from the sale still.
On the other hand, edibles do have an expiration date. While most won’t make customers sick, the “use by” information on the label must be followed, similar to how it is at any grocery store. Plus, you won’t have happy buyers if they bite into a stale brownie.
Dispensaries also have the option of creating customer accounts with unique identifying numbers. These internal files are voluntary. Buyers that agree can be eligible for discounts after making a certain number of purchases. Additionally, for medical locations in states with daily and monthly purchase limits, the software must track purchases and prevent patients from going over the allowable amount.
Seed-to-sale technology might seem like government overreach or an invasion of privacy. However, it’s no different than regulations in the pharmaceutical industry. Everyone must track every pill, liquid, powder, and other controlled substance from manufacturers to point-of-sale locations. As a result, States, brands, and cultivars embrace the medical cannabis tech to control every part of their business from the ease of their phone or another mobile device.