In the heavily regulated cannabis industry, demonstrating compliance is a necessary part of doing business. Whether you’re among the reported 250,000 users in the 17 markets currently contracted with track-and-trace provider METRC*, or your state has its own system for reporting to regulators, compliance is about more than just following the rules. It’s also validation that your cannabis business is operating in accordance with the law, and that your product is safe for public consumption.
With the stakes this high, it’s no wonder so many in this industry feel burdened by having to fulfill compliance requirements. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Cultivators can easily incorporate compliance into their daily routines without having to think about it - but only if they have the right technology at their disposal. The days of the grower operating on gut feeling alone are over. Cultivators who use technology to collect and analyze insights from their grow have plenty of opportunities to benefit from the information they collect. And here’s the best part: getting in the habit of using technology and data to manage your operation will make reporting less of a chore in the long run.
Here are four ways growers can leverage technology and data to improve their business - and stop losing sleep over compliance:
- Track and monitor your plants at every stage. Seasoned growers are used to relying on their eyes and their instincts, but not everything is visible. Using sensors to see inside the substrate and track what’s going on with your plants - with lighting, water, EC, drybacks, VPD, and more - provides growers with valuable, real-time insights that they can use to inform their everyday decisions. Having access to the data behind their cultivation gives growers the information they need to ensure they’re always operating in compliance. What’s more empowering than that?
- Look for opportunities to improve your processes. Growers can learn a lot from history. Being aware of the amount of time it took the cultivation team to deleaf during the last harvest, how the plants reacted to new lights or changes in the irrigation schedule, or which cultivar produced last year’s biggest yields is essential intelligence for a cannabis business looking to profit and scale. If there’s an issue, growers can use historical data to root out the details (who did what and when) and make improvements before they become problems.
- Opt for cloud storage over handwritten notes. Anyone still using notebooks, white boards, or pen and paper to manage their heavily regulated cannabis business is taking a huge risk. Relying on tools that are easily lost, erased, and otherwise susceptible to human error increases the potential for things to fall through the cracks - resulting in a lot of headaches (or worse) when regulators come knocking. Using technology to collect cultivation data and save it on the cloud means everyone in your cannabis business has access to actionable results - not anecdotes - anytime, from anywhere.
- Remember the big picture. The cannabis industry has its share of ups and downs. By the time you have to report to regulators you’ve put in a ton of blood, sweat, tears, and money. As frustrating as it can be to have to fulfill so many requirements, remember that demonstrating compliance is the last push before your products can get into consumers’ hands - and you’ve come this far. Growers who track and monitor as they go are better equipped to catch errors before they become major issues. Then when it’s time to report, instead of sifting through pages of notes or being sidetracked by an outage with the state’s track-and-trace system, the data is safely stored on the cloud and ready to share with regulators when you are.
Between expanding legalization, a broader consumer market, and rising competition, the cannabis industry is maturing so quickly that cultivators need to rely upon more than gut-reaction when deciding how to run their business. As the old saying goes: numbers don't lie. For cultivators to make better business decisions and continue to operate in compliance, data is key.
That’s why we built the ultimate cannabis production platform: to make it easier for growers to manage and scale their operation. AROYA gives growers the ability to easily track and monitor their cultivation, save the data on the cloud, then sync with METRC in just one click**.
Book a demo and discover how AROYA can work for you.
Photo source: Photo by Add Weed on Unsplash
*METRC is the track-and-trace provider for the following jurisdictions: Alaska, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and West Virginia.
**AROYA is currently integrated with METRC in California, Colorado, Michigan, and Maine, and is continuously expanding into additional markets.