How ERP Solutions Support Accountability in Cannabis Businesses

June 14, 2019
Volume: 
2
Issue: 
3

Abstract / Synopsis:

As legalization expands and regulations change, an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution developed for growers or manufacturers of cannabis products goes beyond the basics of accounting and manufacturing to provide control and visibility over data, inventory, quality, and traceability. With evolving government regulations and scrutiny from diversified consumers, this industry is driven to maintain stringent accountability for compliance to establish and remain operational. ERP software supports a detailed level of seed-to-sale traceability by providing lot and plant tracking for regulatory compliance, real-time inventory tracking, and in-depth reporting and analysis to meet the increasing pressures of this industry. Also faced with evolving quality control demands in the edibles marketplace, established manufacturers are finding an ERP’s tools essential, including for research and development, established formula and recipe management, and recall preparedness plans. Ultimately, a business management solution versed in meeting the compliance and regulatory needs of processors in highly regulated industries is becoming a sought-after asset for those who are willing to commit. This article dives into three specific areas in how ERP solutions support accountability in cannabusiness: traceability and compliance; established inventory control measures; and government reporting requirements. The article also informs the reader about what’s next with edibles regulations.

Article:

The expansion of marijuana legalization and the subsequent ever-changing environment brings forth challenges and complexities for cannabis cultivators, manufacturers, processors and dispensaries looking for effective business management solutions to meet today’s market demands. With evolving government regulations and scrutiny from savvy customers, it’s important for cannabis operations to have systems in place to handle more than just the basics of accounting and manufacturing. Proactive cannabis businesses are seeking technological solutions to provide the control and visibility required for traceability, compliance, inventory control, governmental reporting and food safety. An integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution developed for this unique industry allows companies to maintain stringent accountability for compliance while streamlining processes and preserving the transparency necessary to navigate the complexities of the cannabis marketplace.

The evolving nature of marijuana laws and regulations are the hallmarks of the cannabis industry in its beginnings of legitimacy. While the cannabis industry is emerging as a recognized industry, cannabis industry lawmakers and regulators are acknowledging that the industry's business needs resemble other process manufacturing verticals that benefit from ERP system solutions such as dietary supplement, pharmaceutical, and food and beverage companies. ERP software packages are an increasingly popular choice for established cannabis companies seeking to capitalize on the processes and industry-best practices already in place for other highly regulated industries to maintain a competitive advantage.

Similar to other regulated industries, cannabis operations require a focus on traceability, inventory and process control, accountability and finances that includes dynamic reporting and documentation. ERP software supports a detailed level of seed-to-sale traceability by providing real-time lot and plant tracking through greenhouse management, inventory transaction recording and in-depth reporting and analysis. Also faced with evolving quality control demands in the edibles marketplace, manufacturers are finding ERP tools essential, including for current good manufacturing practices (CGMP), research and development, formula and recipe management and recall preparedness plans. Ultimately, a business management solution versed in meeting the compliance and regulatory needs of processors in highly regulated industries is becoming a sought-after technological asset.

With or without federal regulations, cannabis enthusiasts have an expectation that the products they purchase for consumption are consistent and safe. It is necessary for marijuana processors and distributors to embrace this fact.

Historically, the cannabis industry has received an unfavorable reputation for producing inconsistent products, which results in loss of consumer trust, and is detrimental to the success of the industry—specifically the edibles niche. There is a strong possibility for these types of companies to create consumer perception problems that cause disruptions in the market and directly impact the success of similar businesses, creating a bad reputation for cannabis products overall. With the lack of legal regulations on the federal level in the United States, the industry itself is pushing for standardized guidelines that focus on the production of consistent, high-quality products. Integrating business operations and compliance reporting provides accountability features that are effectively handled with an ERP solution.