LOS ANGELES, Nov. 22, 2018 – Within the cannabis industry, there are several different license types and each state handles this slightly differently. In California, “Nurseries” grow and sell plants; “Cultivation” licenses are used to create bulk flower lots for wholesale (typically); “Manufacturers” create packaged goods; and “Distribution” normally is warehouse-style distribution that might have fleet vehicles designed to service several retail stores daily.
“Retail” is a storefront designed to sell to the 21-and-over audience within the state. A “micro license” is designed to vertically include all license types within one singular license number - the idea being that they are a smaller craft experience with limitations. In California, each license type has different inventory tracking and compliance expectations than other states as well.
Work flows vary and interact with the larger industry slightly differently - and also are evolving as regulations and technology are introduced. Each license type was operating with a temporary license, until now. The state has begun issuing annual licenses, which is a more secure position to be in as a license holder. The responsibility as an annual license holder increases, as they are then expected to consistently report their inventory on the state issued Track-and-Trace software, a contract that is upheld by Metrc, a software designed as a tool for governing bodies to monitor inventory, prevent diversion, and collect taxes. GrowFlow attaches to Metrc through API, but has been working with licensees since May 2018 to organize their inventory and begin tracking in compliant ways.
Cannabis software provider GrowFlow emerges with easy-to-use cannabis software solutions in California. Photo credit: Arthur Luebke
“When we launched in Washington, we listened to the license holders and that is how we solved problems that they were facing,” says Rufus Casey, CEO of GrowFlow, the most popularly used seed-to-sale inventory tracking software in Washingtonstate. “We came to California with a pretty good idea of what they needed, but we kept our ear to the ground and we adapted to the workflows and needs that we were finding within the state. There are plenty of new problems to solve and we are happy to work through it with them.”
But what exactly is seed-to-sale technology, and why is inventory tracking so complex? Cannabis is highly regulated on the state level for two main purposes - preventing diversion (buying or selling on the black market) and collecting taxes. A software platform like GrowFlow begins when a seed is popped or when a clone is cut from a “mother” or mature plant with desirable genetics.
The plant is barcoded and nurtured. It moves with its barcode from room to room and each movement is recorded. The state wants to know if it dies, is infested, sold or moves throughout the facility. The plant is harvested, dried, weighed, cured, batched and tested. They are then packaged into units and receive barcodes as they become goods that will be sold to a retail store. The retail store accepts a manifest of goods into their system and the retail store point-of-sale is also connected to the state tracking system. Each sale is recorded as the little packages with barcodes leave the building and are free for the first time from the confines of inventory tracking and state surveillance.
While inventory tracking and seed-to-sale software may be a learning curve, the state will be able to use the funds that a regulated market can generate income for the state. New business leaders in this new cannabis space are thankful for tools like GrowFlow that make state compliance and transactions easier. GrowFlow is a subscription-based platform; licensees are encouraged to go to getgrowflow.com to sign up for a free trial.