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Cannabis Industry

Top Shelf Cannabis

Having spent a fair amount of time in conversation with both white and black market purchasers of the discerning kind, I’ve learned a bit about what constitutes top shelf flower.  Many farmers believe (d) that if it gets you high, it’s good stuff.  Not the case, at least not on the West Coast. Top shelf … Continue reading Top Shelf Cannabis

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Having spent a fair amount of time in conversation with both white and black market purchasers of the discerning kind, I’ve learned a bit about what constitutes top shelf flower.  Many farmers believe (d) that if it gets you high, it’s good stuff.  Not the case, at least not on the West Coast.

Top shelf
cannabis flower is large, chunky, naked, white, stinky, potent, and consistent
to the extent possible for your grow type and level of environmental control.

As I look
around at farmer friends and consulting clients in total desperation, I feel
sad.  Good friends who made a great
living for decades are being upended quickly. 
Many who thought they were good growers are learning (far too slowly and
begrudgingly) that such is not the case.

As market
demands and competition intensify amid a proliferation of indoor and greenhouse
flower and amid increasingly availability of extracts and derived products,
much of our Humboldt County sungrown flower – even light dep – is failing to
impress.  Outdoor is now largely treated
as “biomass” and the type of market flower largely produced in Humboldt across
all grow types currently is commanding very low prices…go out of business type
prices for smaller, poorer, and less efficient operators.  While some white and black market trades are
still very firm for the highly skilled, average prices are falling fast, down
significantly over the last 14 months after tanking the year before.  What was once considered killer stuff is now
relatively leafy, larfy, and twiggy in relation to expertly grown outdoor, much
less greenhouse or indoor flower where tremendous capital inflows now support
operations of both scale and reasonable quality.

Because the
definition of good flower seems lost on so many who are failing, it seemed
warranted to pen a few words on the subject. 
For flower sales, the market tends to want them big and showcasey…one
bud or partial bud eights have more bag appeal and illicit a more wow type
experience to discerning consumers.  If
your flowers are small (which most are), learn about plant manipulation, living
soil, organic feed regimens, and pest prevention.

Flowers
should also be chunky, that is filled out and podded out versus the hollow and
hairy flower now dominating our local scene. 
If your flowers are failing in this area, learn to thin and learn about
organic finishers.

Flowers
should be trimmed naked, that is leafless. 
What should remain is a solid bud structure, with contour.  This will only be accomplished through the
use of skilled, human trimmers that care about the plant and the beauty of
their work.

Flowers
(regardless of the strain and its particular color profile) should appear white
because they are completely caked with outer trichomes.  If not, check environmental exposure like
temperature, humidity and UV.  Learn
about phosphorus loaded garbage weed and think natural in your approach.

Flowers
should be stinky, really stinky.  Your
buds should be so terped out they cause mild nausea, dizziness or sensory
overwhelm with prolonged exposure…say in an enclosed harvest or drying
area.  Learn about artful stressing,
terpene production and retention, organic feed, and lower and slower drying and
curing processes.

Flowers, in
order to compete with the effects of oil and extracts, should also be potent. Rampant
and rapidly growing demand for hash shows demand for potency.  Many distributors won’t even purchase flower
testing below 20% THC, so the trend for high powered products seems
increasingly entrenched.  Use known,
clean genetics of exceptional quality and grow them with extreme love and care
and this should not be a problem.

To the
extent possible, flowers should also be consistent.  While your early versus late run dep may well
boast different characteristics and color profiles, your flower should be identifiable
as your flower…uniquely awesome, delicious, and profitable, not because you say
so, but because the market does.  For
those looking to have staying power or to build a brand, differentiation
matters and most farmers assume growing a unique strain is enough…it’s
not.  Your finished product must be truly
exceptional to compete in the flower market, which many argue is going away
quickly. If you are struggling with consistency, seek to implement tighter
environmental controls to the extent possible for your grow type.  Work with clone stock or sifted seed stock
and implement a sound, repeatable, written farming process to increase
predictability of outcome and improve overall business results.

I recently
watched a piece by Mr. Steve DeAngelo from Harborside while taking a course
through the Academy at Green Flower Media (which I highly recommend to those
wanting to learn more about cannabis). 
He noted that sales of oil and extracts were less than ten percent of
their business just a few years ago.   
The number is around 30% now and he joked that in another ten years,
only old geezers like him would be purchasing flower in a very small corner of
their dispensing facility.  You getting
it?

Growing top
shelf cannabis, the only kind of retail flower the market really wants anymore,
isn’t all that complicated. It’s work. 
That’s the problem for most.  On
many “farms” it seems the plants are actually an afterthought.  Lots of attention is paid to infrastructure
and farm operations, while plants, especially in the light dep space, receive
amazing little attention other than keeping them alive.  Plants are often force fed and perhaps
blasted a few times for bugs or pathogens, but that’s about the extent of
things.  Some work is done each day, but
the loving and meticulous details required to produce stellar cannabis go
overlooked.

Many term
grows are no different.  Plants are so
big and unruly that broken down flower from 8-14 pound monsters often has
little bag appeal.  Even leg sized colas
tend to end up spongy as few actually rock them up for fear of bud rot.  It’s hard to maintenance spray really tall
plants so many have festering bug problems that bronze flowers and lead to
looser buds with funky odor.  While
strict organic and “no spray” regimens can be effective, they are generally not
full proof and have been shown to be less successful over larger operations.

At the end
of the day we now produce a lot of crappy weed in Humboldt County and the
broader Emerald Triangle.  It’s time we
step up.  Rather than try to convince
people of the quality of our product thru hype and marketing, it’s time to let
the flower do the talking.  When buyers
audibly gasp when seeing and smelling your product, you’re getting
somewhere.  Even then you might not fetch
the exact ticket you desire, but at least your stuff will sell, fast.  Average white market transactions are now
just over three pounds a shot according to cannabisbenchmarks.  Distributors (like end consumers) are searching
for that magic bullet, and they now have plenty of product to shop.   But
trust me when they find the right stuff, they scoop it up fast.  Not to toot my own horn, but this past year’s
product of mine was being requested in fifty pound lots and I could have moved
boatloads more than produced.

Instead of growing pinner, poisonous, sterile shitweed, we must return to artisanal production more in line with market needs.  We can and must do better in order to maintain relevance and capitalize on the nation’s fastest growing industry.

Jesse Duncan

SFV OG

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Cannabis Industry

Why Seed-to-Sale Might Not Be the Best Fit for Your Cannabis Dispensary

Cannabis dispensary owners often have a dilemma whether they are better off with a retail point of sale (POS) or seed-to-sale software system when it comes to cannabis retail business activities. With the term seed-to-sale appearing quite frequently in official regulatory language, one could easily conclude that seed-to-sale software is the only option to comply with state or provincial reporting requirements. But in reality, cannabis retailers are better served by a cannabis POS specifically created for retail rather than investing in a full-blown seed-to-sale system, which is primarily-designed for cultivation activities.

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Cannabis dispensary owners often have a dilemma whether they are better off with a retail point of sale (POS) or seed-to-sale software system when it comes to cannabis retail business activities. With the term seed-to-sale appearing quite frequently in official regulatory language, one could easily conclude that seed-to-sale software is the only option to comply with state or provincial reporting requirements. But in reality, cannabis retailers are better served by a cannabis POS specifically created for retail rather than investing in a full-blown seed-to-sale system, which is primarily-designed for cultivation activities.

In the early days of legalization, when most cannabis organizations were vertically-integrated and operated only from one location, seed-to-sale systems worked well in the primitive ecosystem of the cannabis industry. However, the industry has evolved rapidly since then, especially with the recent accelerated boom in cannabis retail due to it being considered essential during the pandemic. And the truth is that you are certainly better off with a specialized cannabis-specific POS than an all-in-one solution for your retail store in the modern cannabis landscape, one with an expanding list of retail-only businesses and multi-state, multi-location operations that must constantly adapt to the changing needs of an ever-growing clientele.

Why Cannabis Retailers Prefer POS Over Seed to Sale

A seed-to-sale system may meet all agricultural, processing, packaging, and retail needs in one convenient solution, and can still be a viable option for small-scale, vertically-integrated operations that may not have the budget for more than one software subscription. But as government traceability systems have become more streamlined for retail-only licensees, the need for specialized software has grown, and a cannabis-specific point of sale provides much greater value.

Using seed-to-sale software for cannabis retail operations means sacrificing customer experience and critical features such as sales reports and analytics that help you streamline processes and increase revenues. Not only will a cannabis-specific dispensary POS worth its salt help keep your customers happy and return for more, but for vertically-integrated businesses at the enterprise level, it will also integrate seamlessly with your cultivation and processing software.

Of course, if your business is strictly retail, a seed-to-sale system is not only redundant but also not cost-effective. Despite what you may have read or heard, the truth is that seed-to-sale software is NOT necessary to keep you in compliance with traceability and reporting requirements. As long as your cannabis retail POS can manage your cannabis inventory properly and is fully integrated with the government tracking and traceability system for reporting purposes, you don’t need to worry about any compliance issues.

Ultimately, regardless of whether you are a vertically-integrated cannabis business with one or more retail locations or a single site stand-alone retailer, the best dispensary POS system will provide everything you need to deliver a better customer experience, streamline inventory management, and keep your operations in line with regulations, without the added expense of unrequired functionalities.

Shortcomings of Seed to Sale Software for Cannabis Retailers

1. Paying for unnecessary features instead of the ones needed

As a cannabis retailer, subscribing to a seed-to-sale system means unnecessarily paying for features and functions that you simply will never need or use. What is worse is that the system will also lack key features to help you maximize your retail operations. A seed-to-sale software simply cannot match the depth of functionality and level of sophistication of a retail-specific solution. Most cultivation systems lack a full suite of retail tools and features, including:

  • ID scanners for validation of customer age and photo.
  • Ecommerce and delivery functionalities
  • Digital menus and kiosks for enhanced customer experience and education.
  • Employee scheduling and health screening tools
  • Seamless integration with government traceability systems like Metrc to ensure automated compliance.
  • Integration with popular third-party sites like Weedmaps and Leafly and a host of other cannabis technology platforms.

2. Expert-level support & software updates not readily available

If you are a vertically-integrated cannabis company, you will indeed need cultivation and processing software along with your retail platform for your business to flourish. But here again, seed-to-sale exclusive systems fall short in providing expert retail-focused development and support, resulting in delayed resolutions, avoidable system downtime, and lost revenue. Seldom you will find any seed-to-sale support personnel adept at both cultivation and retail software and the nuances involved in operating in each of these sectors. Ensure that you choose a dedicated system for your retail or cultivation business that specializes in the cannabis sector you operate in and is not an all-in-one solution so that you can benefit from their expertise, fast innovation and regular product updates while always staying compliant with the law.

3. The more you scale, the less stable the platform becomes

The truth is that old-school seed-to-sale systems are not reliable and not built for enterprise retail operations. There have been numerous documented system failures and crashes with non-retail software that has cost retailers a significant amount of lost sales. Moreover, such platforms tend to become unstable as your business grows as they are primarily designed for cultivation activities and cannot sustain an enterprise cannabis retail business. A cannabis retail POS puts advanced reporting capabilities in your hands, enabling you to monitor your business operations with metrics that matter to you. An enterprise-proven solution with reliable high-volume performance helps you streamline day-to-day activities and centralize data while delivering a consistent customer retail experience.

See Cova in Action with a Free Demo

Cova’s built-in compliance features include traceability system integrations that provide automated data reporting to state and province tracking systems. Eliminating manual reporting saves time and money while significantly reducing the risk of human error which could potentially lead to compliance infractions. Cova also keeps retailers compliant with automated product equivalency conversions and enforced purchase limits — so your budtenders inadvertently do not sell more than the legal allowance. Additionally, Cova simplifies cannabis inventory management and offers unrivaled dispensary reporting features so you can streamline your operations, maximize efficiencies, and gain deeper insights into your business. If you are ready to see how Cova can take your cannabis retail operations to new heights, book a free demo with us now.

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Cannabis Industry

A Quick Start Guide to Metrc for Marijuana Dispensaries in Oklahoma

As a licensed marijuana dispensary owner in Oklahoma, you probably have questions or concerns about getting started with Metrc, the state’s recently chosen cannabis traceability system. OMMA announced a contract with America’s largest cannabis seed-to-sale tracking company, Metrc in September 2020 and expects that the new system, once implemented, will help protect patients and dispensaries from cannabis that may not meet quality or safety standards.

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As a licensed marijuana dispensary owner in Oklahoma, you probably have questions or concerns about getting started with Metrc, the state’s recently chosen cannabis traceability system. OMMA announced a contract with America’s largest cannabis seed-to-sale tracking company, Metrc in September 2020 and expects that the new system, once implemented, will help protect patients and dispensaries from cannabis that may not meet quality or safety standards.

As per Metrc’s website, it is currently working with the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority to implement its system as soon as possible. More information will be made available soon – including system access, training classes, a beginning inventory guide for industry, a lab testing guide, and an Oklahoma-specific supplemental guide. As a Metrc-validated, fully-integrated cannabis retail software provider, Cova has helped hundreds of dispensary owners all over the country successfully integrate with Metrc. We will draw upon our unparalleled experience to help our OK marijuana dispensary clients with all their needs and queries.

To help you better understand what’s required to get you up, running, and compliant as quickly as possible, we’ve put together this quick start guide along with answers to the most common FAQs you may have as an Oklahoma medical dispensary operator.

Oklahoma marijuana dispensary pos and Metrc Quick Start Guide

To get started with Metrc after you’ve submitted your Oklahoma cannabis dispensary license application or if you are already a marijuana dispensary owner, you will need to:

  • Register for and complete the required Metrc account manager training once Metrc starts providing it for Oklahoma dispensaries, and complete the test.
  • Upon completion of the test, a vendor API (Application Programming Interface) key for the sandbox will be generated.
  • Send your API key and license number to your marijuana POS provider.
  • Request a unique identifier tag (UID) from Metrc for any inventory that has not already been tagged by the cultivator or processor.
  • Apply the UID tags to your inventory. UIDs cannot be reused.
  • Log into Metrc to confirm tag assignments and set up all products.
  • Log into your dispensary POS system to receive your newly tagged inventory.

Oklahoma Marijuana Dispensary Metrc FAQs

Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive on getting started with Metrc as a cannabis dispensary owner:

1. What is Metrc?

Metrc (Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance) is a web-based, state-mandated software platform used by 15 states in the US that facilitates real-time tracking and tracing of marijuana plants and products, from seed to sale. This includes the production, testing, distributing, and selling of all marijuana products. Metrc’s cloud-based software requires only an internet connection and computer to access and use it, no additional hardware is required and it integrates seamlessly with a third-party marijuana POS system like Cova.

2. Is it necessary to use Metrc?

Yes, all licensed Oklahoma cannabis dispensary operators will have to start using Metrc to report all cannabis product transactions to the state. A licensee may input sales data directly into Metrc through its user interface but Metrc will provide an API key to customers who wish to use a third-party inventory management POS system. All OK dispensaries will be required to use the UID tracking tags supplied by Metrc.

OMMA will use data inconsistencies in Metrc to detect any diversions from the mandated regulations. If they find any discrepancies, they could conduct an investigation and impose hefty fines. By using a reliable and validated retail POS system that is integrated with Metrc, you will just not save significant time and money in reporting sales and inventory, but also greatly reduce any risks of having regulatory issues.

3. Do I have to go through Metrc training?

Yes! You will not receive your Metrc credentials or be allowed to set up your products in the tracking system until you have completed the required account manager training. Metrc will be publishing more information and a schedule of training events on their website in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, you may also check out videos on Metrc’s YouTube channel.

4. How do I register for the training?

If you are already a marijuana dispensary owner in Oklahoma, you will receive an application number and instructions on how to register for Metrc training and move your inventory to the new tracking system, once OMMA releases a schedule. If you are looking at applying for a new license, you will most likely start working with Metrc from day one.

5. How much will the Metrc tracking system cost?

Metrc charges $40 per month per license reporting fee for access to the Metrc platform and ongoing training, support, and maintenance. While dispensaries can use other software providers that integrate into Metrc, they must pay $40 per month for Metrc’s services.​

6. Who will have access to my dispensary data in Metrc?

Only OMMA and the marijuana dispensary will have access to the information you enter into the tracking system. However, when products are being prepared for transfer to your dispensary, you can see the package information and lab results before receiving inventory from your vendor. The lab results will be entered directly by the testing laboratories and not by the producer, thus providing better assurance of the safety and quality of products before purchase.

7. Will Cova be integrated with Metrc?

Yes, Cova will be fully-integrated with Metrc in Oklahoma, just like other states in the country. It is one of few cannabis-specific dispensary POS companies with two-way integration to the Metrc tracking system. Metrc integration works differently in each state, depending on the local regulations. But Cova will draw upon its experience and expertise from other states to ensure that we adapt quickly and bring you the best and top-notch integration in the cannabis retail industry. Our system will always automatically handle compliance reporting and directly send any adjustments to Metrc, thus helping you maximize operational efficiency and meet all Oklahoma’s tracking and reporting requirements.

See Cova and Metrc up and running soon

With basic integration, you can submit regular reports to Metrc. But a seamlessly-integrated marijuana dispensary POS like Cova automatically sends every transaction to Metrc in real-time and simplifies your operations. This eliminates the redundant step of manually submitting reports and saves you from dealing with potential mistakes. Once Metrc goes live in Oklahoma, we will have more updates for you. In the meantime, book a demo with us to see how Cova can be your best-in-class partner to ease the burden of compliance and streamline dispensary management.

BOOK A DEMO

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Cannabis Industry

A Quick Start Guide to Metrc for Marijuana Dispensaries in Oklahoma

As a licensed marijuana dispensary owner in Oklahoma, you probably have questions or concerns about getting started with Metrc, the state’s recently chosen cannabis traceability system. OMMA announced a contract with America’s largest cannabis seed-to-sale tracking company, Metrc in September 2020 and expects that the new system, once implemented, will help protect patients and dispensaries from cannabis that may not meet quality or safety standards.

Published

on

shutterstock_1521225134 (1)

As a licensed marijuana dispensary owner in Oklahoma, you probably have questions or concerns about getting started with Metrc, the state’s recently chosen cannabis traceability system. OMMA announced a contract with America’s largest cannabis seed-to-sale tracking company, Metrc in September 2020 and expects that the new system, once implemented, will help protect patients and dispensaries from cannabis that may not meet quality or safety standards.

As per Metrc’s website, it is currently working with the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority to implement its system as soon as possible. More information will be made available soon – including system access, training classes, a beginning inventory guide for industry, a lab testing guide, and an Oklahoma-specific supplemental guide. As a Metrc-validated, fully-integrated cannabis retail software provider, Cova has helped hundreds of dispensary owners all over the country successfully integrate with Metrc. We will draw upon our unparalleled experience to help our OK marijuana dispensary clients with all their needs and queries.

To help you better understand what’s required to get you up, running, and compliant as quickly as possible, we’ve put together this quick start guide along with answers to the most common FAQs you may have as an Oklahoma medical dispensary operator.

Oklahoma marijuana dispensary pos and Metrc Quick Start Guide

To get started with Metrc after you’ve submitted your Oklahoma cannabis dispensary license application or if you are already a marijuana dispensary owner, you will need to:

  • Register for and complete the required Metrc account manager training once Metrc starts providing it for Oklahoma dispensaries, and complete the test.
  • Upon completion of the test, a vendor API (Application Programming Interface) key for the sandbox will be generated.
  • Send your API key and license number to your marijuana POS provider.
  • Request a unique identifier tag (UID) from Metrc for any inventory that has not already been tagged by the cultivator or processor.
  • Apply the UID tags to your inventory. UIDs cannot be reused.
  • Log into Metrc to confirm tag assignments and set up all products.
  • Log into your dispensary POS system to receive your newly tagged inventory.

Oklahoma Marijuana Dispensary Metrc FAQs

Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive on getting started with Metrc as a cannabis dispensary owner:

1. What is Metrc?

Metrc (Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance) is a web-based, state-mandated software platform used by 15 states in the US that facilitates real-time tracking and tracing of marijuana plants and products, from seed to sale. This includes the production, testing, distributing, and selling of all marijuana products. Metrc’s cloud-based software requires only an internet connection and computer to access and use it, no additional hardware is required and it integrates seamlessly with a third-party marijuana POS system like Cova.

2. Is it necessary to use Metrc?

Yes, all licensed Oklahoma cannabis dispensary operators will have to start using Metrc to report all cannabis product transactions to the state. A licensee may input sales data directly into Metrc through its user interface but Metrc will provide an API key to customers who wish to use a third-party inventory management POS system. All OK dispensaries will be required to use the UID tracking tags supplied by Metrc.

OMMA will use data inconsistencies in Metrc to detect any diversions from the mandated regulations. If they find any discrepancies, they could conduct an investigation and impose hefty fines. By using a reliable and validated retail POS system that is integrated with Metrc, you will just not save significant time and money in reporting sales and inventory, but also greatly reduce any risks of having regulatory issues.

3. Do I have to go through Metrc training?

Yes! You will not receive your Metrc credentials or be allowed to set up your products in the tracking system until you have completed the required account manager training. Metrc will be publishing more information and a schedule of training events on their website in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, you may also check out videos on Metrc’s YouTube channel.

4. How do I register for the training?

If you are already a marijuana dispensary owner in Oklahoma, you will receive an application number and instructions on how to register for Metrc training and move your inventory to the new tracking system, once OMMA releases a schedule. If you are looking at applying for a new license, you will most likely start working with Metrc from day one.

5. How much will the Metrc tracking system cost?

Metrc charges $40 per month per license reporting fee for access to the Metrc platform and ongoing training, support, and maintenance. While dispensaries can use other software providers that integrate into Metrc, they must pay $40 per month for Metrc’s services.​

6. Who will have access to my dispensary data in Metrc?

Only OMMA and the marijuana dispensary will have access to the information you enter into the tracking system. However, when products are being prepared for transfer to your dispensary, you can see the package information and lab results before receiving inventory from your vendor. The lab results will be entered directly by the testing laboratories and not by the producer, thus providing better assurance of the safety and quality of products before purchase.

7. Will Cova be integrated with Metrc?

Yes, Cova will be fully-integrated with Metrc in Oklahoma, just like other states in the country. It is one of few cannabis-specific dispensary POS companies with two-way integration to the Metrc tracking system. Metrc integration works differently in each state, depending on the local regulations. But Cova will draw upon its experience and expertise from other states to ensure that we adapt quickly and bring you the best and top-notch integration in the cannabis retail industry. Our system will always automatically handle compliance reporting and directly send any adjustments to Metrc, thus helping you maximize operational efficiency and meet all Oklahoma’s tracking and reporting requirements.

See Cova and Metrc up and running soon

With basic integration, you can submit regular reports to Metrc. But a seamlessly-integrated marijuana dispensary POS like Cova automatically sends every transaction to Metrc in real-time and simplifies your operations. This eliminates the redundant step of manually submitting reports and saves you from dealing with potential mistakes. Once Metrc goes live in Oklahoma, we will have more updates for you. In the meantime, book a demo with us to see how Cova can be your best-in-class partner to ease the burden of compliance and streamline dispensary management.

Continue Reading

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