Earlier this year, a survey found that of the 41% of Canadians who admit to having consumed cannabis, almost 46% single out gummies as their favorite form of edibles. And it’s not hard to see why.
Unlike other cannabis-infused baked goods, gummies are easier to dose, have less calories and can be preserved longer than their baked counterparts.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on, it’s expected that sales of edibles in general will continue to skyrocket as consumers shy away from inhalable forms of cannabis in favor of more discreet consumption methods. At the end of 2020, sales of medical edibles grew 60% to $1.23 billion from $767 million in 2019. That performance meant edibles outperformed the total cannabis market, which grew 54% last year.
So how do cannabis manufacturers go about capitalizing on the mainstream popularity of infused gummies? Thankfully, producing cannabis gummies is relatively more straightforward than producing other forms of edibles, like chocolate, for example. But easier doesn’t mean easy. Not only do infused-manufacturers face challenges around cannabis-related production and compliance issues, but in infused-products manufacturing, they must also account for food-specific challenges, like quality assurance, lot tracking, expiration dates, consistency and more.
Combining Cannabis and Food-Specific Manufacturing Challenges
In edible and infused-product manufacturing, challenges stretch beyond those found in standard cannabis cultivation operations. Because edible manufacturing combines food, pharmaceutical and cannabis operations, manufacturers must address a unique set of challenges, including:
In infused manufacturing, there’s immense variability in the products being used. That’s because both cannabis ingredients and food or beverage ingredients are living or were once alive, which means that there’s inherent variability in the quality of each ingredient. To overcome this challenge, manufacturers must be able to adapt operations to compensate for that variability, a difficult feat when combining cannabis and food.
In infused manufacturing, there’s countless number of factors that need to be considered when it comes to formulation. Factors such as bioavailability, mouthfeel, taste profile and the impact that ingredient is going to have on a consumer’s body must all be taken into account when combining food and cannabis products to ensure consistency and the best possible experience for the consumer.
- Inventory Management
Because ingredients change in the way they taste and perform throughout their lifecycles, manufacturers need clear visibility into their inventory and must have a good understanding of how each ingredient should be handled depending on how far along they are in that lifecycle.
On top of this, manufacturers must also consider reducing waste, expiration dates, the storage of each ingredient and proper allergen management.
- Keeping Production on Track
Manufacturers can’t control product variability, so it becomes even more critical to control the manufacturing process. The more manufacturers can plan ahead and accurately forecast, the better they can ensure production is occurring as efficiently as possible, with as little variability as possible. This minimizes the need for last-minute production changes, costly changeovers and unnecessary down time.
- Overlap with Food and Beverage Regulations
In the cannabis industry, the rules and regulations are extremely strict and convoluted. In infused manufacturing, manufacturers must also be cognizant of food safety and quality standards, agricultural standards if cultivation is involved in the process and pharma standards in some instances as well. It’s incredibly difficult to interpret the rules and understand which regulations take precedence over others.
Software for Food and Cannabis Manufacturing
To overcome these challenges, leading edible and infused manufacturers turn to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software that combines cannabis-specific features with food-specific ones to streamline operations, ensure safety and manage growth.
CannaBusiness ERP is designed by technology experts with years of experience in both the food and cannabis industries. Behind each feature and functionality is deep industry knowledge and an understanding of the complexities of each industry and how they merge in cannabis-infused manufacturing.
To keep production on track, for example, CannaBusiness ERP comes with robust production sequencing functionality, which helps simplify production scheduling and minimize production line setup for ultimate efficiency. The software also includes enhanced quality, lot tracking and recall management features.
To learn more about how CannaBusiness ERP can help your cannabis-infused manufacturing business ensure success and capitalize on the gummy craze, reach out to us. We’d love to you what our software can do.