Sustainability Goes Well Beyond Cannabis

Sustainable Cannabis Coalition

We’re all so focused on sustainability within the cannabis industry that we often forget that this has been a worldwide challenge for years. Many companies realized long ago that sustainability is not only good for our planet, but also for their bottom line. They’ve been tackling everything from reducing carbon footprints and pollutants to conserving resources – including labor resources.

Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, doesn’t it make more sense for the cannabis industry to learn from others who have already done it?

For example, cannabis cultivators need only look to the everyday agri-business. This trillion dollar industry has developed drought and disease resistant plants, optimized overall plant consistency and health, automated multiple processes, resulting in both better overall products and yield. This was achieved through investment, research, and technology resulting in tissue cloning of plants, better utilization of fertilizer, water, and soil. They set a plan to do more with less and have been doing so successfully for years. Feeding the world is no small feat, so it only makes sense to learn how this industry has embraced the concept of sustainability to its core.

Tracking and compliance requirements in our industry are more rigorous than any in history, which create additional hurdles for cannabis cultivators. Outlaw provides cannabis cultivators with tools that automate compliance tracking and designed specifically to help optimize plant and package management, as well as harvest data collection. By leveraging our experience with automated data capture in other industries, we’re saving cannabis cultivators 50-70% of the time and energy needed to complete specific tasks.

Cannabis dispensaries can look to grocers and retailers to see what works. Just like dispensaries want to ensure quality, freshness, and availability, grocers have always strived to have the best fruits, vegetables, and meats possible. To manage this, the industry needed to track all products and all movements, so it deployed Barcode and RFID technology years ago in order to do so in real time. Further, by employing the First In First Out (FIFO) concept, the industry ensured that fewer products expire and more products are turned over.

Based on just a quick glance at the grocery industry, it’s obvious that our industry’s concept of “seed to sale” is not only a compliance requirement, but a critical business requirement. It’s critical to know – down to the item level – what you have in stock and where it can be found. Only then can you meet your customers’ needs in a more profitable and sustainable way.

Don’t settle for just knowing you have 50 vape pens somewhere in the store. Track them individually by leveraging the automation expertise from groups like ours at Outlaw. We’ve devised a patent pending process to utilize the POS label that will let you track your products at the item level; not just as an SKU(Group ID), but as an unique item level ID. Item level tracking ensures that you can properly manage your products, rapidly fill orders to get more patients/customers served, and have fewer products expire on the shelves..

So, how do you begin? The first step is to set goals or targets in order to measure success or failure. Next, create a plan on how best to achieve or exceed your targets. The plan can be simple or complex depending on what you’re trying to achieve. Then, get buy-in from those involved and challenge them. People are competitive by nature; if you press them to execute, good things will happen. Finally, execute the plan.

How do you know if the plan is working? The answer is simple: data.

The key to any sustainability effort starts with measuring the baseline which will let you compare the “before” and “after” effectively. With the baseline data, you’re setting a score to beat. Whether you’re attempting to cut energy and water usage, increase staff productivity, or conserve other resources, the end results will surprise you. You’ll see a stronger bottom line, a stronger overall company, and additional ways to ensure sustainability for the long haul.

The general requirements for success in the cannabis industry are no different than many other industries, so there is no need to completely reinvent the wheel. Merely adapt and adopt tools that already exist and have been used for years. Outlaw Technology’s team has over 30 years of experience across multiple industries – retail, pharma, healthcare, defense, manufacturing, agriculture. We leverage those years of software and data automation expertise to focus solely on helping the cannabis industry do more with less. You’re not alone in your journey toward sustainability…there are others that have been on this path for a long time.