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Consumers who buy cannabis-related products from a dispensary may not be aware of all the back-end compliance, not to mention the reporting prerequisites. These help with state regulation of cannabis-derived products. They ensure that only consistent, finest-quality products end up in the marketplace.

Cannabis businesses are expected to employ seed-to-sale tracking to monitor cannabis products across the entire supply chain. Whether the end product is sold in the form of a flower, topical cream, vaporizer, pre-roll, or edible, each product must possess a clear trail showing where it was cultivated, harvested, manufactured, and ultimately sold.

Besides maintaining a traceable trail on every ounce of marijuana, seed-to-sale software streamlines typical dispensary operations. These include inventory management, sales records, data analysis, and reporting requirements.

This post details everything you need to know about seed-to-sale tracking, as well as the traits of good seed-to-sale tracking software. Read on for more insight.

What Is the Meaning of Seed-to-sale?

Seed-to-sale is a term that’s synonymous with the cannabis industry. It refers to the entire cycle of a marijuana plant, from its initial growth to its final sale. This covers the entire supply chain of a marijuana-related company. 

It starts in the cultivation phase. After harvest, the crops are manufactured into finished products. They are then packaged and distributed to retailers who sell to customers. Some cannabusinesses handle the entire supply chain from seed to sale.

What About Seed-to-sale Tracking?

Seed-to-sale tracking involves the use of software to track and report every stage of the supply chain. It allows cannabusinesses to create compliance reports as per state regulations. It also prevents cannabis from traversing the legal and black markets.

You may wonder how it’s possible to track the movement of a product from the time when it was just a seed to when it’s a whole plant to finally when it’s a finished product. Well, seed-to-sale software pairs with hardware devices like mobile scanning guns, printers, and scales to scan bar codes and labels on the individual products. 

The tracking software gathers data and report files around the following stages:

  • Growth and Cultivation: Tracking different phases in the life cycle of the cannabis plant. Each plant can be identified by its current growth phase. Is it in the flowering, vegetative, or immature phase?
  • Harvest: Recording the weights of the harvested crops and calculating the yield metrics. 
  • Packaging: Designing product packaging and labels as per state regulations. 
  • Lab Testing: Testing processed cannabis products in a lab to check their potency, purity, and safety. 
  • Distribution: Using the information to generate manifests and logistics documentation.
  • Tracking and Analytics: Submitting information to state authorities on product sales, inventory, and yields.

Who Needs Seed-to-Sale Software

Who Needs Seed-to-Sale Software?

Nearly all plant-touching companies, including cannabusinesses, use a seed-to-sale tracking system adapted to their compliance demands. 

  • Growers/cultivators
  • Manufacturers/processors
  • Lab testing facilities
  • Distributors

What Makes Good Seed-to-sale Cannabis Tracking Software?

Here are the features to look for in the best seed-to-sale software for your dispensary

Inventory Tracking

The software should provide real-time updates of inventory levels at each production stage. This allows you to easily track inventory changes and manage your inventory down to the exact milligram. Besides viewing inventory levels, you should be able to download the inventory data in different formats.

Inventory Forecasting

The software should allow sales teams to pre-sell inventory and predict resource needs using consistent data.

Internal Audits

It’s a massive undertaking to conduct internal audits through paper-based systems. It can take several days for your staff to collect documents and analyse data. This is why your seed-to-sale software should be able to conduct internal audits in a matter of seconds. You should be able to simply pick the order number and audit your data instantly. You should also get corrective action report data.


The software should have robust reporting abilities. This helps promote real-time visibility in product orders, inventory, and product sales status. A good reporting solution provides simple and flexible end-user customizable options to advance with business requirements. Bespoke reports, including recall reports, may be created, saved, and printed by users.

Barcode and RFID Scanning Capabilities

Identification tags are mandatory for cannabis plants. These state-mandated tags feature RFID chips and barcodes. A good seed-to-sale tracking system should feature an integrated barcode and RFID scanning system. This enables it to electronically scan the tags. 

Transportation Logs

The software should generate transport manifests for efficient cannabis distribution. This way, users can easily adhere to state regulatory requirements for safe cannabis shipping, tracking, and traceability. 

Lot Tracking

Lot Tracking

Another important feature is lot tracking. The reason behind lot tracking is it encourages traceability, the ability to trail back a batch of products to the original source of the ingredients or materials. You can also track forward to view where that batch has been shipped. 

The advantage is seen when there’s a product recall. Lack of good lot tracking will see the company recall all the products shipped between a wide range of dates. This is not considering whether or not they are laced with the contaminated or faulty ingredient/ material.

But with lot tracking, you can quickly pinpoint the source ingredient/material that’s of interest. Thus, you will recall only the transported products containing that particular ingredient or material. This minimizes the cost of the entire process. 

Lot tracking does a lot more than just managing product recall. It provides comprehensive information as well. This enables cannabusinesses to discover trends, stop the accumulation of deadstock, and narrow down problems to exact products.


You want seed-to-sale software with top security features. This will help avoid security breaches and protect customers’ data.

Data accuracy

The software should generate accurate reports, or you will run the risk of losing your license. Inaccurate data reports may lead to suspension or revocation of your cannabis business license. 

The Bottom Line

Supply chain management is not an easy task in the cannabis industry. This is because of the complex regulations by state regulatory bodies. But fortunately for cannabusinesses, seed-to-sale software can increase operational efficiency across supply chain operations. 

The best seed-to-sale software offers more than compliance with existing regulations. It analyses market trends and generates customizable reports with actionable insights. This allows you to stay above the competition.