Unfortunately, illegal marijuana farming is still a menace in the cannabis industry. An illegal cultivator, for example, doesn’t have to worry about legal requirements. All they think about is how to evade the authorities. For this reason, politicians and lawmakers are working day and night to ensure they wipe out the illegal market completely. This might also affect legitimate businesses in the process.
Advocates in the legal pot industry believe they can bring the concept to global adoption through various inventions. A good example is the seed-to-sale tracking system, which helps follow cannabis products’ supply chains. But making such inventions a reality is a little complicated since all market players will have to go through several hurdles to grow the plant.
We will be reviewing why the seed-to-sale system is vital in the industry, as well as its cons. Let’s begin by looking at how the concept works.
How Does Seed-to-sale Tracking Work?
It sounds almost impossible for a company to track a clone/seed until it becomes a mature plant, but it is very doable. Tracking the plant requires the cultivators to label the seeds containers with identifying barcodes or QR codes. The codes are scanned at each stage of the cultivation process. Everything is tracked and monitored, from the nutrients being added to harvest, extraction, testing, and delivery of the plant to a customer.
Seed-to-sale tracking is mandatory in many US states. It is so strict that cultivators are required to track their plants even when moving them from one room to the other during the growth cycle.
Whether in the manufacturing facilities, indoor or field cultivation, employees are required to use mobile scanning devices to track the plants’ growth cycle. However, many commercial cultivators use a portable scanning device to make the process easy when reading the barcodes.
From there, the authorities follow the tags bearing the barcodes or the QR code through the whole supply chain. It means that, whether the harvested crop is processed into a tincture, vape oil, topical, edible, or any other cannabinoid product, the code remains intact to avoid breaking the tracking chain.
Why is Seed-to-sale Tracking Important?
A regulated cannabis business helps consumers ascertain that what they are putting in their systems is tested and fit for human consumption. It’s a way of making sure that the weed strains are safe for consumption. As a result, the number of cannabis users increases, which translates to success in the hemp industry.
For the authorities, the process allows them to monitor all the stages involved in the supply chain, ensuring that marijuana stays out of underage hands and out of illegal operations. With the system, everyone connected to the industry wins, from the cultivators and dispensary owners to the manufacturers and consumers.
There are several ways legal cannabis cultivators and retailers can use the system to their benefit, such as:
- It helps calculate the cost of the entire cultivation process.
- It helps determine the time needed for various operations in growth stages.
- It allows businesspersons to manage their inventories.
- It tracks the crop’s descent.
- It tracks the plant’s nutrients, water, pH, temperature, and humidity to help farmers produce high yields.
Compliance in the Legal Cannabis Marketplace
Compliance is crucial in eliminating illegitimate weed cultivations that may affect the legal industry. Currently, 33 states in the United States allow the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. Additionally, 18 of these states allow recreational use of cannabis. These territories require commercial cannabis businesses to comply with the seed-to-sale tracking process to eliminate illegal sales. It would be impossible for regulators to do their job and introduce pot into the mainstream marketplace without it.
How the System Helps Various Dispensaries Succeed in the Cannabis Market
Since the main idea of the seed-to-sale concept is to record data, savvy dispensary owners use it to expand their businesses further. The data, which includes up-to-date inventory management, marketing strategies, and consumer trends, can help run a dispensary and educate customers at the same time.
Some reputable platforms help manage the dispensaries’ inventories and compliance data in the supply chain. They do so by offering inventory record-keeping services through the following strategies:
- Automated inventory record
- Full Metrc integration
- Cloud-based solutions
- Item level product tracking
How Seed-to-sale System Protects the Consumer
As stated above, illicit cannabis cultivators and sellers do not care about the consumer. They don’t abide by the set regulations in the cannabis space. They lure consumers into buying cheap products to save money, consequently harming their health. A good example is a vape crisis that happened between 2019 and 2020.
According to the US Center for Disease Control (CDC), the illegal counterfeit vape products had traces of vitamin E, which is highly harmful to the lungs when heated. The untested vape led to several deaths, tarnishing the entire cannabis community’s reputation. The incident also gave prohibition supporters strength to fuel their agenda.
The seed-to-sale tracking system significantly reduces the sale of contaminated products to protect the consumer. Therefore, everyone must support the tracking systems; it might help save lives.
Main Disadvantage of the Cannabis Tracking System
The system’s main disadvantage to cannabis cultivators and retail companies is that they have to stay compliant. This means that they must cultivate the plants according to regulations and pay taxes. Many believe that the main agenda behind the law is not to grow quality hemp and increase yield but to regulate the market growth.
On the other hand, the tracking software solutions help the cultivators in many ways, as seen above. It only requires cannabis growers to know how to use the data optimally to grow quality buds.
The Bottom Line
Every businessperson in the pot industry is keen on producing high-quality products to keep their clientele coming back for more. Investing in the right seed-to-sale software can help them maximize their yields while abiding by regulations at the same time.
However, the future of the tracking system is still uncertain. Experts believe it can go in two different directions: the government might control it more or loosen up to make it commercial. Either way, the system developers are keen on improving the technology to help cannabis growers produce quality products.