Going Beyond Seed-to-Sale for Cannabis Business

By Seed And Beyond | Blogs |


The cannabis industry is relatively new and evolving quite rapidly. In 1996, California introduced legal medical cannabis, and in 2001, Canada was the only country that presented legal medical cannabis. Over time, however, the cannabis industry has shifted the gear from being an unregulated set of small operations to an exceptionally regulated one.

Over time, different requirements and regulations have been introduced that played an essential role in developing the cannabis industry. Some US states introduced stricter reporting requirements, which led producers to keep track of their inventory.

That was when the “from seed to sale” system first appears in the cannabis industry. So, what does seed to sale mean in the cannabis industry?

Seed to Sale system enables growers to keep track of manufacturing, transport, and distribution. This helps satisfy the regulatory requirements and helps companies provide more details and better meet their consumer’s needs.

What Does Seed to Sale Mean?

As the names suggest, the Seed to Sale system is a term unique to the cannabis industry, referring to the track and report activities that cannabis growers are required to follow to stay licensed by maintaining compliance. Producers use the seed to sell the product while being planted, harvested, processed, packaged, and then sold. Seed to sale software, sometimes also referred to as Cannabis software or cannabis track and trace software.

Seven Stages of Seed to Sale for Cannabis

A commercial cannabis plant’s life revolves around seven stages, and understanding all these steps is essential. The reason behind this is it is a must for both a grower and regulators to identify harmful chemicals and other threats instantly. It not only helps to keep the consumers safe but also protects a grower’s business operations.

Below, we will discuss each stage in detail and explain why seed to sale tracking is essential and its benefits.

1-     Seeding

Whether from a clone or a seed, growing cannabis plants comes with various advantages and disadvantages. For clones, they are consistent with a gender that is always known. Also, in an environment similar to their parent strain, they produce the same amount of product.

On the flip side, seeded plants can maintain taproots, which allows them to grow faster and more robust. However, they have a far greater potential to grow into males, capable of destroying the entire operation overnight.

2-     Cultivation

You should start your seed to sale system with the seeds. Without knowing where your seeds came from, you will not be able to make logical and data-driven decisions. For instance, you manufacture a top-selling strain in your company’s history but don’t remember where the seeds came from. It will be difficult for you to get the same seeds to start creating that now-famous strain.

So, when you are growing actual cannabis plants, make sure you have each of the plant’s identifying number. This will enable you to track your cannabis plant phase locations and employee interactions as well.

3-     Harvesting

Since all the cannabis are batched by the type of material, All the batches get a new identification number separately, containing plant history from the beginning. Batched material includes derivatives or prepackaged goods. Once the harvesting process is done, the cannabis identification number follows it into its packaging before being delivered to labs for testing.

4-     Testing

In most legal states, it is a must that all cannabis products should go through rigorous testing. Cannabis plants are tested for contaminants, chemicals, and a list of additives that are considered harmful to either consumers or the plant. Moreover, the potency of your cannabis is also tested, which is essential in your seed to sale tracking.

At this point, you’ll be able to know if your cannabis plant is ready to be delivered to its final selling destination. Without proper seed to sale software in place, you might risk your company to be shut down for up to 12 months until the cause is eradicated.

5-     Transportation

Before transporting cannabis, you must have secure, accurate, and compliant seed-to-sale software in place. For all the cannabis distributors, it is a must to keep a detailed track of all the cannabis products’ transportation. Besides allowing you to eliminate business-to-business liability, it also improves practices and minimizes the risk of theft.

6-     Point of Sale

Each cannabis product is linked back to the plant origin, and what sales are tracked to what customers. This is also referred to as the chain of custody. Audit trails are also a vital feature, which allows distributors to supply proof that they comply.

When it comes to seed to sale tracking at the POS system, the two crucial factors are audit trails and custody chain. Chain of custody helps you easily track each SKU back to the original distributor, grower, cultivator, or even seed. In contrast, the audit trails detail every movement, interaction, and change in the cannabis product’s lifetime. This helps your distributors, cultivators, etc., to prove they comply.

7-     Patient Identification

An identification number is assigned to each cannabis patient, allowing you to observe and evaluate patient behavior trends.

8-     Real-Time Data

All the data captured during the tracking process is secure and available online. It provides detailed analytics that is also available to both law enforcement and regulatory agencies. The data enables law enforcement to track transportation and cannabis inventory in real-time. Moreover, for the Department of Revenue or other agencies, detailed reports are also available, ensuring compliance with industry standards and state laws.

Going Beyond Seed to Sale

Though seed to sale is most commonly used software by the Cannabis businesses, it is important to go beyond seed to sale systems. This is where an ERP system comes into play. Contrary to seed to sale systems, a true end-to-end ERP system, like Seed and Beyond, is a fully integrated solution that manages every aspect of your Cannabis business from finance, operations to CRM and cultivation, processing to delivery. An ERP system scales and grows with your business, help make data driven decisions and stay compliant while a seed to sale software concerns itself only with legal compliance. An ERP system can also be customized to suit the specific needs of your Cannabis business.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, a seed to sale system merely helps ensure that your business stays compliant while an established ERP software offers an integrated management solution with seed to sale traceability as one of the features. An industry specific cannabis ERP solution goes beyond compliance and provides end-to-end business functionality . Hence, when considering software options for your Cannabis business, it is important to weigh the differences, benefits and costs associated with each option, and the current and future requirements of your cannabis business. This will enable you to make an informed decision to significantly impact your operation when choosing your software.

Seed and Beyond is a Cannabis ERP software and an SAP partner providing end-to-end vertically integrated solution for Cannabis and Hemp business. The team at Seed and Beyond brings together a unique combination of SAP and cannabis industry experience to redefine the way cannabis and hemp seed to sale software work and deliver the next-generation user experience for cannabis and hemp business. Get in touch with us today to learn more.