Buying marijuana is a whole lot easier now, and plenty of cannabis startups are popping up offering solutions across the entire seed-to-sale life-cycle. Get reviews, pricing, and demos on the best seed-to-sale software. Prices starting from $19.99/month. Compare products like BioTrackTHC, MJ Freeway, Canix, and more. Reviews on Windows, web-based, Mac, iOS, and Android systems. Easy to use Seed to Sale cannabis software backed by the best customer support in the industry. Solutions for the entire cannabis supply chain – cultivators, processors, distributors and dispensaries.
9 Cannabis Startups with Seed-to-Sale Solutions
We remember the days before Big Marijuana, when buying weed was much easier. We would pull up a block or two away from a seedy house in a rundown neighborhood. The front yard probably hadn’t been mowed since Nixon was president. Our dealer was named Weeda. For $25, she would hand over a quarter-ounce of stem-and-seedy “Mexican dirt weed”. We never bothered to ask about sativa or indica. It was a great system until the day the cops busted the whole operation. We were dry for a couple of weeks before we found a new Weeda. This was Texas, circa late 1980s, around the time the state decided to institute a tax on pot despite the fact it was illegal. That way they could get you for tax evasion and possession a la Al Capone ( the law was finally repealed in 2015 after about 25 years on the books ). The good old days. Not.
The legalization of recent years, particularly for recreational marijuana, means you don’t have to visit urban areas going to pot for buying your pot. In Denver, there are more dispensaries than Starbucks, and places like Colorado are building a legitimate business environment that is experiencing astronomical growth. With legitimacy comes paperwork and a different set of challenges, especially in such a tightly controlled industry that is illegal and mostly illegitimate in the eyes of the federal government. Cash is still king but even that is changing.
Credit: CB Insights
The nine cannabis startups below, identified by the great minds at CB Insights (see the market map above), are providing the tools to turn any Cheech & Chong operation into a tightly rolled business, from seed to sale, a topic we first covered with a company called Baker .
Enterprise, Government and Wholesale Management
Founded in 2010, Denver-based MJ Freeway has raised $11 million in disclosed funding, including a $3 million B series extension back in April. MJ Freeway offers business management software and consulting services to help ganja startups comply with the law and to keep everything from going up in smoke. It claims to have processed $5 billion in cannabis sales transactions, serving clients in 23 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Its MJ platform does it all: compliance tracking, point of sales (POS) and inventory management, from cultivation to retail sales. The platform also has a customer relationship management (CRM) component that allows retailers to engage and market to patients and customers.
The company says the latest round of investments will also help fund its Leaf Data Systems , a web-based regulatory platform for governments to monitor compliance by cannabis businesses. Customers include the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the state of Nevada and the municipality of Cathedral City, California.
Also founded in 2010, Fort Lauderdale-based BioTrackTHC offers a similar suite of software solutions for businesses and government customers as MJ Freeway. It has raised $5 million in disclosed funding. Its government compliance system is used in seven states, while its seed-to-sales software is located in every state where medical or recreational sales are allowed, as well as Puerto Rico, Jamaica and Canada.
Last year, BioTrackTHC startup partnered with Cannabase, which hosts an online wholesale marketplace for the cannabis industry (not to mention an interactive map to find dispensaries using various filters). Publicly traded HelixTHC, a penny stock company that specializes in security (its CEO is reportedly a West Point graduate who served as a U. S. Army infantry officer) acquired Cannabase last year and also owns a chunk of BioTrackTHC. In another “it’s a small cannabis world after all” moment, HelixTHC also works with MJ Freeway through its Cannabase subsidiary, a key step for moving the industry from user-generated data on wholesale inventory and markets to real-time data.
LA-based KindManage, backed by $3.5 million , is yet another seed-to-sale startup flogging compliance software and business management tools through a software platform called Agrisoft Seed to Sale . It also offers a government version . The data is secured with biometric system logins for staff and everything is tracked using barcodes, and system audit trails. You can manage inventory from the back storage room to the retail shelf, and handle transactions with patients and customers with a simple, touchscreen point-of-sale system. Sounds like it has more built-in tracking features than your standard off-the-shelf POS system.
HR for Cannabis
Founded in 2015, Denver-based Wurk takes the work out of managing all the stoners on your staff. It has raised $3 million , including a $2 million Seed round in April that included MJ venture capital funds like Poseidon Asset Management, Phyto Partners and The Arcview Investor Network. Calling itself a workforce compliance platform, Wurk helps automate tasks associated with hiring, managing and paying employees, especially geared toward meeting pesky regulations related to the federal income tax code, banking and general HR rules like what to do when you discover your employees stealing from your stash. The new funds will help the company expand its business to meet the growing MJ landscape, including adding a couple of execs to the management team, according to a Wurk press release.
Flowing from Seed to Sales
Founded in 2015, FlowHub is yet another Denver-based cannabis startup that raised money in April, the unofficial stoner holiday month. Its $3.25 million Series A brought total disclosed funding to $3.75 million, with top MJ VCs like Poseidon and Phyto Partners in the mix. FlowHub offers two software products, one for growers and one for retailers. The former provides full visibility into the grow room, from tracking the trimmers (no more strip searches!) to minute-by-minute activity using the company’s Nug, an all-in-one handheld device that manages inventory and even comes with a data plan if the WiFi crashes.
At the retail end, FlowHub offers a point-of-sale system (above) that helps keep budtenders compliant with the law, such as adhering to daily purchasing limits. There is also a CRM component, including a customer rewards program and gift cards. Sounds like a great stocking stuffer to us.
Update 10/15/2019: Flowhub has raised $23 million from a consortium of investors to automate the cannabis supply chain, retail and reporting processes and bring to market technology solutions that are shaping the cannabis retail business. This brings the company’s total funding to $26.8 million to date.
Keeping Track of the Stash
Founded in 2015, Seattle-based s2solutions picked up $1 million from a Seed round last year. The company provides a software suite to help cannabis processors “streamline sales, fulfillment, and inventory management”. Its software package comes preloaded with all licensed cannabis facilities in Washington, updating new licenses each week. S2solutions automatically generates purchase orders, manifests, and invoices, and it provides a web-based portal for retailers to order more “product” (i.e., flower) 24 hours a day.
The company says it has plans to go national. Currently, it claims to partner with four of the top five cannabis producers in the state of Washington (and eight of the top ten), among others, processing more than $10 million worth of invoices each month.
The Starbucks of Cannabis Cards
The marijuana industry has been a pretty much cash-only business since well before the days of Reefer Madness . Backed with $1 million in disclosed funding, California-based PayQwick is one startup trying to make cannabis a cashless society. It provides payment platforms for business-to-business transactions and in the retail space. The company reports that it is registered in the states of Washington, Oregon, and Arizona as a money transmitter for businesses. Customers can check out using a pre-loaded card, which can be topped up online or by snail mail, or pay using an app. Here’s how it works:
Customers can load up to $1,000 on the cards and remain anonymous. A rewards program helps loyal customers score goodies from favorite retailers. If they want to get some mad funding, maybe they should integrate some blockchain technology into their solution.
Cannabis Commerce and Compliance
Founded in 2014, Arizona-based Hypur offers financial solutions for the banking-challenged marijuana industry. It has raised about $3.7 million and is part of the VC firm Hypur Ventures’ portfolio . ( Not to mention that Hypur founder and CEO Christopher Glavin is also founder and president of Hypur Ventures, as well as director of Dope Magazine, which is also in the Hypur Ventures portfolio. Follow all that? ) Hypur’s platform enables banks to automate many of the manual processes associated with cannabis businesses, which involves a whole slew of state and federal regulations. The platforms also afford financial institutions real-time insight into POS transactions to ensure suspicious activity ( read money laundering ) doesn’t find its way into a bank’s virtual vaults. Hypur also offers cashless solutions via its Hypur Commerce platform for B2B and retails transactions.
Technology for Optimal Growth
We admit that we stole that headline from the tagline of OptiLeaf, a penny stock company out of Wichita, Kansas, that went public in 2015, about a year after it was founded, taking in about $700,000 before the IPO. (We’ll spare you our usual rantings about marijuana penny stocks .) The company, like many on this list, offers a software management suite. Its flagship product, however, is an automated growth management system that is capable of “monitoring and adjusting light, soil moisture, CO2, temperature, ventilation, nutrients, and humidity as needed, in real time and around-the-clock”. The user interface allows growers to monitor, adjust, and manage their facilities from anywhere in the world, most likely from their bong water-stained couch.
Big Marijuana is growing up. Most of us who visit our neighborhood budtender every day once a month or so are happy knowing we don’t have to visit scary neighborhoods to find good bud anymore. But pot is becoming a real business, and that means companies have to get their heads out of the clouds and into cloud-based services that will help them stay on the right side of the law while also making good business decisions based on real data. These startups seem to be selling the real deal.
If you’re going to invest in cannabis stocks, there are only a handful you should hold. Become a Nanalyze Premium subscriber and we’ll tell you which ones. Sign up, then send us an email and we’ll point you to the appropriate research pieces.
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Seed-to-Sale Software Buyer’s Guide
The cannabis industry is continuing to grow with each coming year. As of the start of 2022, there are eighteen states (and the District of Columbia) that consider marijuana to be fully legal, with more offering medicinal options. As such, growers and cultivators are finding ways to produce a product as efficiently as possible, maintain state regulations, and turn a profit.
Whether you’re a cultivator, packager, or retailer, you’ll want to track every gram of the product and all related costs from seed to sale. Seed to sale software helps cultivators, manufacturers, processors, and even retailers become as legitimate of an operation as any other pharmaceutical manufacturer and distributor.
We’ll be able to touch base on the following topics:
What Is Seed to Sale Software?
Seed-to-sale software (also known as cannabis software or marijuana software) seeks to manage your entire cannabis cultivation operation. From simple compliance monitoring and dispensary POS (point-of-sale) functionality to predictive analytics, seed to sale software ensures you operate every facet of your licensed cannabis business the way it should.
Given strict regulations in the cannabis industry, players in the market found it difficult to find companies to process the plant (either companies that trimmed a plant to sellable product, or broke down the plant into a good such as CBD or a THC-based product such as an edible), vendors for seeds or needed equipment, or even clients to sell their product to. Because of that, marijuana cultivators will have vertical integration, where they manage every aspect of the supply chain, so all aspects of seed to sale (manufacturing, distribution, and retail) are covered. Seed to sale software will do that; help you out from planting the seed to selling the finished product.
Of course, seed to sale software can manage the entirety of your supply chain process as well as assisting you in one area of seed to sale, such as the manufacturing. Companies looking to integrate the seed to sale process with back-office accounting and inventory control may want to consider a fully integrated cannabis ERP software.
BioTrackTHC has an inventory module specifically catered to the industry, allowing you to categorize your product as needed and assign the units desired.
Features of Seed-to-Sale Software
|Cultivation Tracking||Monitor and automate your grow performance. Monitor any waste that is generated and account for potential errors in weight with moisture loss. Find inefficiencies in your operation by better tracking time and labor costs. Log notes about strains to keep a close eye on genealogy and potency.|
|Compliance Management||State regulators want to monitor every step in the supply chain including where it was planted, harvested, processed, and sold. Strict traceability is a must. Compliance functionalities in seed to sale software will go over plant and product procedures to ensure compliance. They will also automatically report any compliance data to the state while ensuring reports are created in a compliance-friendly manner.|
|Processing and Manufacturing||Optimize future product yield by keeping a close watch on your nutritional cycle via watering, lighting, and adding pesticides. Analyze the volume of your harvest to help predict and optimize future yields.|
|Inventory Management||Convert multiple products into final goods. Keep track of both raw materials and finished goods. Ensure your inventory can be audited and ensure proper weight and dosage has been recorded. If inventory levels run low, ensure purchase orders can be sent at the right time to avoid shortages.|
|Supply Chain Management||Track transportation manifests that keeps strict note of the cargo for any regulatory review.|
|Dispensary POS||Process sales through in-person transactions, online ordering, and more. Store customer profiles with patient ID’s and any referrals. Monitor the frequency of visits and purchase history. Provides discount and loyalty programs. Establish purchase order limits to comply with state law.|
Benefits of Seed-to-Sale Software
Some of the top benefits of seed to sale software include:
Different plant by-products will include varying weights and vary in product quality. Ensure you have multiple data collection points to check in on your product during the cultivation process.
Ensure Compliance With Laws and Safety Measures
In order to ensure states and municipalities are receiving the information they need and that your business is paying any taxes and fees necessary, seed to sale software will ensure you are maintaining compliance.
One solution, MJ Freeway, provides customer status capabilities which evaluates any prescriptions needed to complete transactions. It also keeps a record of purchases for proper reporting to remain in compliance with any local or state laws.
The patient record status in MJ Freeway.
Avoid fines and stay legal
Given strict regulations in the production of cannabis, you’ll want to ensure your workers are staying on course and not committing any senseless infractions that could lead to unnecessary legal trouble. The product will need to be handled with as much care as any other pharmaceutical, and thus comply with as much scrutiny and traceability throughout the production process.
Cannabis can be manufactured/produced into a number of final products ranging from oil to an edible product. As such, you’ll need to monitor appropriate conversion rates and calculations to ensure you’re not losing out on any valuable product.
Ensure proper nutrition
Plants of all shapes and sizes will need proper nutrients and pesticides to ensure they are growing and on schedule. They will also need a strict diet of water and sunlight. Seed to sale software will allow easy logging of when these nutrients have been given to a select crop of plants.
What Does Your Business Need?
Depending on the size of your business, you may have differing needs than other businesses within the industry:
Start-ups and Small Businesses
At its core, seed to sale systems have a primary focus to ensure compliance. While some software solutions may work great when you are small, and industry-neutral software options may be able to handle your manufacturing, distribution, inventory, etc., businesses starting out will want to look at finding a software vendor that has experience implementing their solution for a cannabis-based company. Otherwise, you will find yourself falling behind the competition and eager to go back on the market for software.
As your client base grows and your employee count starts to rise, you’ll need to consider having a solution that is scalable. Companies of this size need to determine where they land in the seed to sale process: Are they primarily a cultivator? Do they handle processing and manufacturing? Are they a dispensary dealing with point-of-sale issues? Even if your company is a combination, focusing on your more successful areas and ensuring the primary cannabis ERP solution you use can handle your
Larger operations will handle vertical operations and manage a true seed to sale process from cannabis cultivation, to processing, to distribution, and to sale. As such, they’ll require the use of a cannabis ERP solution that can provide them with the full suite of supply chain management, manufacturing management, and accounting.
Localized Compliance with Seed-to-Sale Software
States that have full legalization of marijuana such as California and Colorado use compliance tracking software solutions specific to the seed to sale industry, such as Metrc. Metrc ensures compliance with specific states’ regulations that govern the growth, distribution, processing, and overall sale tracking of cannabis products.
Metrc can keep a close watch at transfers coming in and out of a business. This is used to ensure regulatory compliance needs are kept up with, such as a strict record of who is driving a shipment, their vehicle info, how many stops they made, and how much cargo they had on board.
Metrc showing outgoing transfers.
Objectives of Metrc
- Safety and Regulation
- Central Monitoring
- Data Analysis
- Privacy Between Businesses
- Online Tracking Network
Metrc itself operates as a regulatory cannabis inventory accounting software used by the Marijuana Enforcement Division, which is an arm of the Colorado Department of Revenue to manage the enforcement of marijuana laws. It’s expanded to be a solution available for anyone in need of monitoring cannabis production from seed to sale.
This chart from Marijuana Business Daily shows the current states that have awarded a seed to sale contract and the respective solution they decided on.
Metrc is utilized by 16 states for their marijuana compliance tracking. Other software solutions such as BioTrack from Helix Technoloies, Leaf Data Systems, Agrisoft from Kind Financial. Businesses who use the same software as their state’s enforcement division can be assured that their business can be covered by any audits that may be conducted by their state’s enforcement division.
Medical cannabis has been legalized in Canada since the early 2000s under the ACMPR, which stands for the Access to Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes Regulations. These rules govern the use and authorization of medical marijuana across Canada.
The recent passage of the Cannabis Act in Canada should result in a spike of companies flooding the market to sell recreational marijuana, which means more companies will require compliance capabilities.
Software options such as Ample Organics allow you to track and report directly within the program to stay in line with any reporting requirements set forth by the Cannabis Act and ACMPR.
Is QuickBooks a Seed to Sale Software?
QuickBooks will suffice to handle most small business accounting. However, growing businesses in the marijuana industry will realize that QuickBooks is not a long-term fit for the unique challenges in accounting for a scheduled drug. It also may not track your operations as efficiently as you like.
Some seed to sale software may provide you with the needed manufacturing and supply chain functionalities, but lack the accounting needed to become a “fully integrated option”. These type of seed to sale software options may suggest the use of entry-level packages such as QuickBooks Pro or Sage 50c.
The most important question you’ll want to ask about the software you’re considering is, “Will my financials be covered?” If so, you’re looking at an ERP. If not, the software vendor can typically recommend the accounting solution that will work best with (or alongside) their software.
Technology Trends Managed By Seed-to-Sale Software
- Rapidly growing industry. The legal marijuana industry can include anything from hemp products, THC baked goods, CBD oils, or the flower plant itself. The industry has grown to $10.4 billion in the US in 2018 and employs more than 250,000 people.
- Vertical Integration. This level of involvement occurs when the supply chain of a company is owned by that company. In the cannabis industry, the combination of complex regulatory issues prompts cannabis businesses to establish vertical value chains. This means cultivators may also look into opening up dispensaries or adult-use venues, so their product can go from farm, to cultivation, to processing, and to sale.
- Specialty accounting professionals. As the cannabis industry continues to grow, accountants are learning how to properly work in this line of business and ensure companies are receiving whatever tax breaks possible. Entire firms are being created with the sole purpose of handling marijuana-based businesses.
- Almost half (47.4%) of hemp cultivators see “finding processors” as their biggest challenge. Prior to the 2018 Farm Bill being signed, cultivators of hemp and other marijuana products found the biggest business challenges that had a direct impact on their operations were finding processors, a lack of banking services, and finding seeds or clones. However, with the passage of the Farm Bill, investment capital and low-interest loans have been made available to cultivators. It also lets growers ship their crop across state lines to a location that may have a larger pool of licensed processors.
- There’s a real potential for higher taxes. Given marijuana’s illegal status under federal law, the IRS says that no deduction or credit will be allowed for businesses who incur expenses in relation to trafficking in controlled substances prohibited by federal law. The normal tax breaks and incentives businesses receive will be disallowed, which means most cannabis-related business will pay more taxes then if they had been able to deduct the expenses they incurred in the normal course of business.
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