By Steve Flaks, VP of Sales, BioTrackTHC
Your state passed a cannabis legalization bill and licensing applications are underway! Hooray! Now, you’re gearing up to start your canna-business. With your business plans in-hand and your application sent in, the fee paid, there is nothing to do now but wait… or you can prepare. These 5 steps can help ensure your business is ready for a successful, stress-free opening day, and beyond.
Find Solid Employees
It’s important to look for candidates, if not expressly experienced in the cannabis industry already, to at least have transferable skills; anything from customer service to professional horticulture. It’s also helpful to look into the less-obvious employee options, as in, not just growers and budtenders.
Considering the amount of technology licensed cannabis operations requires, whether it’s maintaining your dispensary point of sale hardware, or ensuring your lights are properly wired to your timing system, IT and technology professionals are vital to any well-run business.
Hiring a cannabis compliance officer can be another vital employee to consider while defining the ideal operational structure. Finding a solid compliance officer isn’t an easy task – it takes an individual who has in-depth knowledge of cannabis compliance and regulations. Not only that, but finding someone who is a problem-solver and understands how to navigate even the murkiest of regulatory waters will be essential in growing across U.S. and international borders.
Develop Your SOPs
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) serve as the backbone of your day-to-day operations and define how employees can stay compliant while performing tasks, outline safety and regulatory requirements, and construct standardized steps to comply with cannabis business regulations. Implementing those steps and enforcing them creates consistency from employee to employee, even in the event of turnover and new hires.
Find a Software System that works FOR You
Whether you’re a grower, manufacturer or dispensary, you’re going to have to rely on a track and trace software to keep you compliant and keep your operation running smoothly. It’s important to find a software system that works FOR you, not the other way around. Many cannabis software solutions have rigid workflows and limited functionality, which leaves you with no other choice than to operate in a way that syncs up with the software. Others offer flexibility and can be customized to match your process.
Establish Your Brand
From logos and overall design to messaging and developing a social media presence… as Jeff Bezos says, “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” With hundreds of other canna-business out there trying to make a name for themselves, developing a strong brand has become vital in the cannabis industry. Outstanding products have come and gone, so differentiating your business in the market can be the difference maker. As the embodiment of essentially everything your business does and represents, developing a solid and unique brand identity will take plenty of thought, and plenty of time.
Keep Track of Compliance in Your State
Do you know the ins and outs of cannabis compliance in your state? If you’ve already sent in your license application, odds are you’ve mostly wrapped your head around it. But understanding it and maintaining it in your day-to-day operations are two different things.
Each state has unique cannabis laws, which as we’ve seen many times are subject to amendments. It’s up to businesses to stay up-to-date on your state’s regulations and any potential changes to them, as well as keeping your operational workflows up to speed. Keeping smart on the proposed, and sometimes implemented regulations, will enable you to stay ahead of compliance changes and implement swift changes to address them.
It can be frustrating the pace at which the cannabis industry progresses, but as one of the fastest growing and emerging industries in the world, the one thing you can’t afford to do is tread water. There’s always something you can do to prepare so when you do open your doors, you’re already 10 steps ahead of your competition.
Leading the sales team at BioTrackTHC, Steve Flaks has helped to establish the company as a leading cannabis software provider operating in over 2,000 business locations. Mr. Flaks has been featured in a variety of industry panels and publications as a subject matter expert surrounding licensed cannabis operations discussing topics including SOP’s, operational workflows, cannabis software, and seed-to-sale compliance.