There is no other area of the law that changes as rapidly or as constantly as laws around marijuana cultivation, processing, sales, and consumption have (and will continue to do so). With regulations constantly changing, and with businesses having to comply with city, county, state, and eventually federal regulations, it can feel impossible to know exactly HOW to make sure you’re staying compliant. The cannabis industry is unique, and that’s part of what makes it special and part of what makes it so challenging.
Consider what a cannabis farmer has to think about and go through before putting seeds or starts in soil.
The Many Uncertainties of Growing Cannabis
First, farmers have to get a license or permit to grow—a costly, complicated, and long process with no guarantee of success even after paying for a lawyer and all the associated fees. They must also secure land following local and state laws that dictate where cannabis can (and, more often, can’t) be cultivated. If they can find suitable land that is compatible with all the laws and environmental ordinances, has some infrastructure or the ability to build it (not all land can be built on), and has decent access to water (all big IFs!), they must only plant the specified acreage allowed. In Mendocino County, California, the Board of Supervisors is currently considering a new ordinance that will only allow 10% of an agricultural parcel to be planted with cannabis—but it’s not like the farmer only has to pay for 10% of that parcel.
It’s hard enough to get a loan for an agricultural business, let alone one that until very recently wasn’t legal and is still somewhat of a legal gray area in some places. If there’s one thing banks hate, it’s uncertainty. So, interest rates are typically high if the farmer can successfully secure a loan at all. Many cannabis farmers rent the land because they cannot afford to buy it, which adds a whole other level of complication and concern. It’s scary building out land and planting it knowing you will be subject to the whims of a landowner; even if you have a lease, contracts are broken all the time, and conditions can be untenable in countless ways.
The costs to plant and grow are high: seeds or clones, soil, fertilizer, pots, irrigation, lights, timers, the list goes on. Water can be expensive and unreliable. And let’s not even talk about all the curve balls Mother Nature can throw! Well, maybe just one, which unfortunately comes at the very end of the whole process, when you have cultivated beautiful buds and are getting ready to harvest and an unexpected rainstorm rolls through. You can do everything right, dry it out exactly as you should, and still be stricken by mold. (And why does it have to be the biggest and best buds that fall prey to that cursed white blight?)
There is NO reliability when it comes to nature, and just like the physical conditions for growing, the legal conditions for cannabis cultivation are unpredictable and ever-changing. And this is just the growing phase. It gets more and more complex the closer to consumption you get. For the farmer who just wants to farm, it’s not just about finding a willing buyer at a good price. They also must know and comply with laws governing the sales of their raw product, including the complexities of traceability, which is made more difficult when the farmer and buyer use different tracking and reporting systems.
Technology Can Improve the Life of Cannabis Business Owners
Running a business is hard—any business. Full stop. There are many burdens to carry; staffing and employment, insurance, offices and retail locations, marketing, taxes, and so much more. And yes, of course, businesses should be subject to laws that protect them and the customers. But when laws change as often as cannabis laws change, who could expect the average cannabis business owner to keep up, let alone succeed? The government, that’s who! This causes enormous stress on businesses and can reduce or restrict sales opportunities and threaten licensing and permits.
There is some good news. In an industry where it can feel impossible to know “The Truth” about compliance, TigHC provides that truth by constantly monitoring new and changing rules and regulations and updating the software to ensure businesses stay compliant.
TigHC is a type of enterprise research planning (ERP) software, which means it connects all critical areas of your business in a single database. This is done using various modules that address different aspects of your business, including accounting, sales, order management, inventory, manufacturing, project management, and legal reporting. It provides all of the tools you need to track and regulate inventory from planting to final sale.
While there are many cannabis technology solutions out there, no other provides a central database and standard data structure, eliminating the need to manually consolidate data across multiple systems. This makes tracing a much more straightforward process, allowing you to track your plants and products across every step in the supply chain, from planting to harvesting to processing to final sale. Talk about a leg up when it comes to compliance!
As you are well aware, reporting is a massive headache: unpackaged and packaged inventory reporting, sales reporting, medical access reporting, business statistics, cannabis classes, and more must be meticulously tracked and consistently reported to regulators. Not reporting accurately can lead to fines and even a lost business license. Cannabis businesses can’t afford NOT to put resources toward compliance tracking, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. TigHC keeps track of everything, automatically measures important compliance metrics, and simplifies the reporting process by pre-populating all the necessary information in the required reporting mechanisms. Gone are the days of copying and pasting data from one database to another, clicking through all the tabs and windows, and giving yourself a repetitive stress injury with all those mouse clicks. With TigHC, the reporting requirements that used to take hours now require just 15 minutes to review and submit.
We pay for peace of mind every day; that’s what insurance is built on. Something as big and thorny and ever-changing as regulatory compliance, which comes with extremely high stakes, is a primary stressor in any cannabis business owner’s life. The peace of mind that our customers get knowing TigHC is staying up-to-date with the truth about compliance—and adjusting the software accordingly every step of the way—can’t be overstated. The Truth is out there, and it doesn’t involve paying a lawyer or doing constant, obsessive research. Instead, it’s a low monthly fee and a simple installation away. Don’t believe Jack Nicholson—you CAN handle The Truth, and TigHC is here to provide it for you!