Cannabusiness ERP: 4 features to support cannabis production

As the at-large ERP value has evolved to include more variants, including a number of niche-based business opportunities, a number of particularly discrete systems have emerged as well.

Among this group of specialized ERP systems the ‘cannabusiness’ sector is attracting significant interest of late.

While on first blush, one may believe that this particular segment would be so ‘beyond the pale’ that many technologists wouldn’t waste development time on this small market; instead, more and more folks are beginning to produce systems in hopes of establishing an early-adopter position as the cannabis production market continues to grow.

Estimates expect the market to reach $21 billion by 2021 in the US alone.

Consequently, we thought we’d offer five essential requirements for ERP systems that support this health-driven, and entirely legal, business-resources alternative.

1. End to end product/transaction traceability

Given various compliances associated with health-related operations, these ERP variants need to employ some kind of ‘seed-to-sale’ tracking system.

In turn, that capability is further enhanced by deep audit and traceability capabilities, to ensure that all transactions are legally executed whether it involves product information, inventory and vendor management, customer certification, ordering, and price management.

2. Multi-hardware compliant

Cannabusiness systems also typically ensure that all point of sale operations are compliant with a complete hardware constellation ranging from on-premise, hybrid, and full-cloud installations.

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These elements are further supported by a host of affiliate systems such as simple cash drawers, receipt, automated label makers, barcode printers and scanners, to certified/licensed scales.

3. Compliance and reporting

Given the currently uneven standards of cannabis production compliance from state-to-state, cannabusiness-based ERP systems must employ and certify an ability to apply individual state requirements oriented to the traceability of all cannabis transactions. This level of management is further supported by integrations that accept and employ various rule-based policy indexes.

4. Granular inventory management

In the same vein as these systems’ requirements associated with traceability and tracking, all inventory systems are tailored to the requirements of cannabis operations. In concert with feature #3 all inventory transactions offer a large degree of certitude throughout the sales process.

Along with these five specific cannabis requirements, variously specialized management modules are typically included as well. Some of these elements include:

  • Cultivation
  • Processing
  • Lab operations
  • Distribution
  • Delivery-based operations

As mentioned in the preamble, while still a current niche business sector, cannabusiness has, and is continuing to, exhibit significant growth in the United States.

This current level of interest suggests the promise of even more commercial opportunity downstream as more states accept and enact laws driven by the reported health advantages of cannabis.

Consequently, whether for point-of-sales operators, distributors, or systems developers, ERP precepts are beginning to be felt by cannabusiness operators. More sophisticated systems are rolling out each year, regardless of a limited number of states that have enacted legal cannabis sales laws to date.

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Rick Carlton

About the author…

Rick Carlton dba PRRACEwire, has worked as a tech journalist, writer, researcher, editor and publisher for many years. In addition to his editorial work, Rick has also served as a C-Level executive/consultant for a wide-range of private and public sector U.S. and International companies.

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Rick Carlton