A primer on resources and solutions to prevent costly mistakes when running a cannabis business
It’s 3 AM and you woke up in a cold dizzying sweat. If you are the owner of a cannabis business, there are a number of reasons for this. Are you wondering how that surprise inspection by the state marijuana board today went? Not sure if your track and trace system will stand up to an audit? You just lost one of your key employees for what they believe are greener pastures. That pest infestation your Master Grower told you about is on your prized crop and the last thing you can afford is another crop down this year. The third-party testing results came back and the product failed for more than one area, AGAIN. Worse yet, it is a combination of these things.
Here’s the good news - You aren’t alone and there are resources available to guide you through the challenges at hand. Better yet, there are solutions that we will cover in this post - many of which are free or very affordable. As always, you can jump ahead and hire us to distill this information for you and guide you to success -- that is our niche after all. For the more DIY’ers or folks that simply aren’t ready to retain a consulting firm, read on, and check back often!
What’s the catch? Well, the not so good news - It takes resources, discipline and time. Those familiar with Project Management can refer to the “Triple Constraint” (see Figure 1). I prefer to substitute Scope with Discipline because, without the discipline to define a clear scope and plan, you will fail to meet your goals. Think back to the last time you had a project that went over budget and time. How well had you defined the Scope up front? Odds are - not as well as you could have!
So, how do you get out of the reactive firefighting mode and finally get a good night’s sleep? Depending on what your biggest challenge is, we have linked a bunch of solutions for you to consider:
Due Diligence and Risk Mitigation
This is quite a broad term - but applies to all aspects of your business. Do you have a Business Continuity Plan? Have you conducted an assessment of your operational health and efficiency? The GMP Collective conducts gap assessments in areas such as Quality Systems, Environmental Health and Safety, and general compliance. We can train your team on how to identify opportunities for improvement.
At The GMP Collective, we use SmartSheets to manage our life. We also assign a dedicated Project Manager to every project. We’ve partnered with GreenWorx Consults to ensure that we have the latest tools in our toolbox and can apply Lean concepts whenever necessary. If you are constructing or planning to design and construct a new cannabis facility, our friends at Surna, leaders in Indoor Cultivation, HVAC Equipment and MEP services just published a great article on the many causes of construction delays.
Solution: Consider SmartSheet or another Project Management tool and employ a Certified Project Manager up front before investing in any sort of Capital or Operational change - from the build out of a new facility, retrofitting existing operations, or building out a new department. Don’t have the capacity internally? Contact us or our friends at GreenWorx Consults.
Education and Employee Training
Investing in your team will pay dividends. If you aren’t convinced, there are plenty of articles that explain the value of investing in your employees.
Solution: Groups like Green-Flower Media and Oaksterdam University have built world class cannabis based training solutions. Non-cannabis specific organizations like the BSi Group (the British Standards Institute) are also recommended for Quality Management, Risk Management, Sustainability and Supply Chain Training among others. For specific solutions, we offer individual and group training that can be customized to your business. Our implementation programs are rooted in educating your team to be self-sufficient. Investing in yourself (and your team) always pays the best dividends.
Change is hard, but the culture of GMP compliance will take you far. It does not have to be implemented overnight, nor should it be. Fortunately, there are many resources available which we have hyperlinked throughout this article. Just like the advice given to first time cannabis consumers - start low and go slow - take that advice and apply it to your business. When you’re ready to take the next step, give one of our friendly GMP consultants a call or drop us an e-mail. We look forward to seeing you achieve success!