The liberalization of cannabis regulations in states and countries across Europe and the Americas has proven to be an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs seeking to cash in on these new markets by getting into the cannabis production business.
Data shows that the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes has spurred a massive surge in sales for cannabis products, and the growing number of states that allow the sale of cannabis for medical purposes has led to projections that the medical cannabis market could be worth as much as $5.5 billion in 2019.
Clearly, there is a healthy market for legal cannabis products in the United States and Canada, and industry experts suggest that the amount of legally produced cannabis may not be sufficient to meet consumer need. So applying to become a licensed producer of recreational or medical cannabis should be easy, right?
Unfortunately, getting into the cannabis business is not as straightforward as renting a greenhouse and buying some seeds. Just because cannabis is legal does not mean it isn’t still a controlled substance, and many governments, concerned that legalization would simply lead to more profits for criminal gangs, designed legalization legislation to ensure that cannabis production would be subject to strict government regulations.
This means that prospective producers looking to start up their own cannabis business need to track every plant they grow from seed to sale, and need to provide detailed reports about their operations, harvests, and sales.
But cannabis cultivators don’t just need to ensure that their products are grown in accordance with the regulation of the state or country in which they are active; they also need to be able to produce a paper trail tracking the planting, growth, movement and harvest of each of their plants.
This means keeping track of a truly prodigious amount of information and data. Before a company can start producing cannabis, it needs to have a plan for how this data will be gathered and stored.
Fortunately, it is possible to purchase software to simplify cannabis cultivation management and make it easier to stay compliant with government regulations. Seed-to-sale platforms are specially designed to help cannabis producers stay compliant with regulations, and they leverage cutting edge technology to make data collection and storage seamless.
One major platform technology revolves around the use of electronic barcodes and wireless scanners to track the growth and movement of plants, so that information is uploaded to the database immediately (you can get more information about it here). This method is particularly popular because it reduces the risks of human error that go along with manually logging information.
There are plenty of reasons for entrepreneurs to be excited about the cannabis business. Profit margins for cannabis start-ups look good, as does investment, and it is unlikely that the market for product will become saturated in the next couple of years.
But entering the cannabis business means being aware of the challenges that come when cultivating and selling a controlled substance. Entrepreneurs that want to build a successful career in cannabis production should make sure they are using the latest seed-to-sale technology to help them stay compliant.