The Cannabis Industry

7 Things You Need to Know About the Cannabis Industry

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Sherry Ellen Slitts
Sherry has been active in the biotechnology industry since 2010. She is experienced in developing quality management systems and documentation for regulatory compliance under GMP guidelines. Her background in microbiology, cell biology, and aseptic processing provide a scientific context for cannabis production methods. Sherry has a passion for plant science, especially in the areas of tissue culture and bioactive compound extraction.

Do you know what is growing on in the Marijuana Industry?

The cannabis industry is being legitimized more than ever as the cannabis plant begins to be treated more and more like another commodity. Here are the top seven things you should know about the marijuana industry if you are not familiar with cannabis SOPs & the marijuana industry, and are thinking of entering it.

1. What is the Marijuana Industry

Marijuana, or cannabis more broadly, is a commodity that is emerging out of the black market as countries like Canada begin to legalize it. Medical marijuana has been around a bit longer, but the Canadian recreational cannabis market is the first of its kind (outside of Uruguay).

Along with cannabis cultivation and retail dispensaries, there are many other aspects of the industry that you might not think of right away. Like any commodity, marijuana needs supply and distribution channels, packaging, shipping and transportation, and financial services.

2. The Marijuana Industry Is not Easy Money

New cannabis companies are popping up every day, which makes the marijuana industry a highly competitive market. Getting licenses for cultivation, processing, and selling is very expensive and there are many security risks that businesses face once they are operating. Successful cannabis companies understand business fundamentals like scaling, and reducing operational costs cannabis, along with having deep knowledge and commitment to the plant. Even cannabis stocks are risky ventures at this time, so business owners need to have the financial backing and attention to regulatory details to make sure that their operations are as secure, compliant, and profitable as possible.

3. Starting a Business in the Marijuana Industry Is not Cheap

High fees and costs make it tough to become a licensed producer. Health Canada’s Micro Cultivation Licence for cannabis is a more affordable option that has garnered much interest. While the fees are cheaper, the requirements are the same for having a fully built site and for compliance. Many cannabis businesses underestimate the cost of compliance.

Businesses will need to have a Quality Assurance Officer to oversee their Quality Management System. Professionals like these coming from the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry will anticipate a respectful compensation. Likewise, a cannabis quality management system is not cheap to implement and costly process and software validations are also necessary!

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If you are thinking of starting a business in the marijuana industry, keep in mind that it is most similar to starting a pharmaceutical company!

4. The Marijuana Industry Varies by Location

Canada has very clear requirements for the marijuana industry. However, in the US, things are much more unstable and legalities and regulations vary by state. Cannabis is still federally illegal in the US, so it is a much more risky and unstable market. At any time DEA raids as seen in California in the 90s and 00s could begin again!

International cannabis markets are mainly focused on medical marijuana and hemp. Australia, South Africa, Germany, The European Union, The United Kingdom, and many South American countries like Colombia all have different cannabis policies, but most have some form of legal medicinal marijuana. Since Canada’s regulations comply with EU and WHO standards, Canadian cannabis businesses have an international edge through oppourtunities like getting cannabis funding for the purpose of international trade.

5. Jobs in the Marijuana Industry

There are many jobs in and adjacent to the marijuana industry. In addition to the cannabis jobs listed below, the marijuana industry also creates jobs in adjacent markets such as greenhouse construction, cultivation and packaging supplies, shipping and transportation, marketing, and even jobs for blog writers! Truly, all skill sets can be of value to the marijuana industry.

  • Cannabis Cultivation
  • Cannabis Business Management
  • Finance for Cannabis
  • Human Resources
  • Tech Support and Tech Resources
  • Retail Cannabis Sales
  • Cannabis Distribution and Processing
  • Cannabis Research and Testing

6. The Marijuana Industry is Full of Scammers

Businesses in the marijuana industry need to always be on alert. There are so many scams to be aware of at all times. It is always important to do your research and fact-checking when it comes to people, businesses, information, and materials. One particular scam to be aware of is consultants who seek equity instead of payment.

Many new businesses in the marijuana industry will work with consultants to help them navigate the regulations and licensing process. However, working with the wrong cannabis consultant can spell disaster for your cannabis business. If you want to find out more about GrowerIQ cannabis consulting, you can check out these testimonials.

7. The Marijuana Industry Needs Technology

From websites, security systems, and communications, to point of sale software, and the seed-to-sale software in between, The marijuana industry benefits hugely from utilizing technology! Software such as GrowerIQ is a seed-to-sale compliance software, plus quality management software, plus ERP, plus cultivation software all in one, and all designed for the unique needs and challenges of cannabis.

Beyond software, environmental sensors, moisture sensors, barcode printers, and scan guns are all tech add-ons that can give growers a high level of control over their crops. Likewise, the integrated ERP systems allow for a high level of control over financial planning, inventory management, and customer service.

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Let’s discuss your project in order to customize a comprehensive plan to help you become a licensed producer. Find out more on our Seed for Success program overview.

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About GrowerIQ

GrowerIQ is a complete cannabis production management platform. Ours is the first platform to integrate your facility systems, including sensors, building controls, QMS, and ERP, into a single simplified interface.

GrowerIQ leverages proprietary machine learning algorithms to improve facility automation and provide producers with insights to improve quality and consistency. GrowerIQ is changing the way producers use software - transforming a regulatory requirement into a robust platform to learn, analyze, and improve performance.

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