Quality is the name of the game for industries that provide consumable products, such as cannabis edibles and other cannabis products. Cannabis customers expect strong product quality and consistency. When they trust the quality and enjoy the consistency, they become committed customers. But when quality or product is inconsistent, customers quickly move on to competing cannabis providers. However, quality management in the cannabis industry is more than providing customers with consistent quality. It’s also about adhering to strict and ever-evolving government guidelines and meeting compliance standards, which vary based on country, municipality and state.
Cannabis Harvesting, Processing and Quality Management
The production process for cannabis is similar to other harvested products and has three main phases.
- Phase 1: Cultivation and Harvest
- Phase 2: Plant Processing
- Phase 3: Tracking and Delivery
Cannabis cultivation process
The multi-step process requires quality checks and balances, or quality management, every step of the way. There are three quality management stages: Quality Planning, Quality Assurance and Quality Control.
1. Quality Planning
Every project begins with the planning stage. Stakeholders must determine the scope of the project, what resources will be needed to make it successful, and the steps they’ll take to get there.
For cannabis cultivators and processors, the planning stage focuses on how to meet the quality standards set by their consumers and the regulatory agencies. This is when they determine their objectives and processes, making sure to include the metrics by which the quality of their product is measured.
2. Quality Assurance
In an article comparing Quality Assurance and Quality Control, ASQ, a global community of experts of quality in all fields, organizations, and industries, defines Quality Assurance (QA) as “part of quality management focused on providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled.” The article also notes that QA can inspire confidence “internally to management and externally to customers, government agencies, regulators, certifiers, and third parties.”
The QA methods they employ in creating a high quality and safe product connects directly to Quality Control.
3. Quality Control
Quality Control (QC), according to ASQ, is “the operational techniques and activities used to fulfill requirements for quality.” It is a subcategory of QA with some overlapping responsibilities, but QC is the stage that guarantees the prior two stages are successful.
Improving Quality Management with CannaBusiness ERP
By implementing strong quality management principles, cannabis businesses protect themselves against fines and losing their licenses, while also reducing quality issues and establishing product standardization. Their reputation as a strong, reliable brand will be cemented, which helps them create lasting relationships with customers. And their planning, assurance, and control measures help eliminate product waste as part of their sustainability efforts.
Some cannabis growers, manufacturers, and distributors may wonder how to implement a quality management system. Cannabis business management software, such as CannaBusiness ERP, can help.
It provides built-in industry-specific features and functionalities required to run a respected cannabis organization, simplifying and automating their quality management requirements. Cannabis companies that implement cannabis ERP software are able to:
- Meet Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) requirements (e.g., sanitation, equipment, personnel and more).
- Mitigate recall risk with product recall management features.
- Adhere to regulations, support EU GMP standards and US State/Health Canada reporting.
- Conform to specifications by integrating multi-user checklists and quality audits for inspections.
- Ensure safety with full lot/serial traceability, product recall management and comprehensive allergen tracking.
- Simplify the management and delegation of tasks with role-based testing and control.
Additionally, CannaBusiness ERP can assist with the managing and analyzing of production costs as well as provide dashboards, KPIs and alert reporting.
These capabilities attracted FIGR™, a cannabis enterprise in Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island. CFO Kyle Smith says in the company’s CannaBusiness ERP customer story, “[W]e were looking for a complete, robust ERP solution with a strong reputation and capabilities spanning manufacturing, distribution, inventory control and core accounting.”
Success with CannaBusiness ERP
In just 17 weeks, FIGR was running on CannaBusiness ERP. Now, the company is operating on a user-friendly solution with customized dashboards, Smith says. CannaBusiness ERP also provides the cannabis company with forward-and-backward traceability. Using their proprietary FIGRPRINT track-and-trace technology, FIGR customers can track their product by typing in the lot number on the packaging.
“We’re committed to transparency and compliance, and we’re demonstrating that commitment, not only to regulators but to our customers. We believe cannabis customers deserve to know the source of their product and have access to the product’s Certificate of Analysis,” says Smith.
When FIGR was smaller, they manually gathered regulatory information and produced reports to remain compliant with Health Canada and the CRA. With CannaBusiness ERP, they can easily pull the data and run reports. They can also monitor quality and consistency with configurable quality checklists, store test results, print reports, and share information directly with customers from the single, integrated solution.
Smith says, “We can look at our business in different ways almost instantly and without any additional effort. For example, I can look at sales by strain, by product line, by region and more. Previously, I needed to export the data into Excel and create pivot tables.”
FIGR’s cannabis quality management needs are covered by CannaBusiness ERP. “We’ve got the right application in place with CannaBusiness ERP and the right technology partner to keep us going and growing.”
About CannaBusiness ERP
CannaBusiness ERP is a modern Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software built for the cannabis cultivation and processing industry. It comes with all the functionality required to keep up with evolving industry standards and opportunities. Built in Sage X3, CannaBusiness ERP was developed from years of industry experience, incorporating best practices from cannabis companies and industry leaders across North America. It is a single system that runs the entire business through quality, compliance, traceability, manufacturing and finance.