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MJ Freeway and Mission-Critical Software Features

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Our friends over at Akerna's MJ Freeway industry software solution have astounded us again with this article on critical software functions. If you're considering an Cannabis-centric ERP or value chain software to enable your firm, make sure to use the following list as a core for your Request For Quote (RFQ) document.

Also, please let us know if you'd be interested in helping us to organize an MJ Freeway Users' Group.

For many growers, finding the right cannabis cultivation software can be a daunting task. Not only do they spend countless hours making sure their plants are happy and healthy, but they often spend too much time tracking, managing, and updating massive inventories. Navigating the vast world of cannabis cultivation software doesn’t need to be a hassle for cultivators.

To see cultivation software in action, take a look at this recorded demo.

If you’re trying to understand the latest and greatest capabilities offered in cultivation technology to make your grow more efficient, we’ve put together a handy list to get you through it.

1. Easy Onboarding
Adopting new cultivation software can be an intimidating and lengthy process— but it doesn’t have to be.

Look for these features to make software onboarding painless:

Fast time to adoption
It shouldn’t take weeks before you can start using the technology and adding products to your inventory list. Look for software that offers fast but thorough onboarding so you can begin learning how to track on day one
Bilingual onboarding team
Spanish-speaking customer support shows that the company has an international mindset for cannabis. Look for bilingual support, even if you speak English
Role-based, recorded training
This should be customized for your business model and tailored to each individual role in your operation that uses the software; for example, check-in person, budtender, cultivation assistant
Onboarding should be offered to help you add current inventory, set up your current facility or facilities, add users and adjust permissions, and learn how to monitor the health of your plants and their locations.

2. Made to Grow with Your Cannabis Business
Whether you own a boutique shop, a large multi-state business, or even a multi-country business, the cannabis cultivation software you choose should be built to grow with you and should be made to scale.

Look for the ability to hide/unhide certain software features based on the number of active users you need or according to the size of your business. There should be functionality in place that allows you to add multiple facilities and employees if your business starts to scale, along with features like restricted or permitted access to reports based on employee type.

If you aren’t sure exactly what you’ll need now or in the future, there needs to be a support team available to help you figure out what is most important now and in the future.

3. API Integrations
Cultivation software should allow for multiple API integrations based on the needs of your business. No one software can provide the best expertise in every single aspect of your business, so it’s important to look for software that allows integrations with multiple APIs. Below are a few important types of API integrations to look for.

For Accounting and Financing:
Look for accounting integrations like Quickbooksif you’re still small, and enterprise-level accounting integrations like Sage Intacct if you need a more comprehensive cannabis accounting software
The new international standard of accounting should be built in, along with import/export CSV functionality as opposed to digging through reports of manual entry

For State and Global Compliance:
Also look for a regulatory cannabis system integration like Metrc to ensure you’re always abiding by the latest laws

For CRM:
Reporting integrations that offer not only data, but insights into your business will be important. For business purchases and consumers, solo*sciences helps with flagging products as counterfeits
Look for integrations with technology like Isolocity for global supply chain management and Global Manufacturer Practices (GMP) 
These are just a few examples of API integrations that you might consider when looking for cultivation software, but there are several more to choose from. You can see examples of other features and integrations for cultivators in this video.

4. Reporting, Forecasting, and Cultivation Analytics
Reporting shouldn’t require managing massive amounts of data every day. Leading cannabis cultivation software should offer intuitive, visual dashboards that include ingredient reports, product item count, quantities, the total cost of your inventory, and more. However, if you have a data wizard on your team who wants to extract and analyze information on their own, the cultivation software should also have the option to export to CSV.

The right software allows you to track every single touchpoint of your product, literally from seed to sale. You should be able to see which farm it came from, the amount of THC it contains, where it’s going, where it’s been, who grew it, and so on. Managing the supply chain of items is one of the most important features of trusted cannabis cultivation software.

For operational reports, look for software that offers living plant count, when things should move from veg to flower, projected flower yield, and projected trim yield. Forecasting capabilities are especially important for companies looking to scale.

You should be able to use this data to monitor and improve your business by running cultivation reports that provide the insights you need to increase efficiency and drive revenue.

5. Designed for Government Regulators and Cannabis Business Operators
Cannabis regulations require that both government and businesses must be able to effectively track the cultivation of marijuana, from seed to sale and beyond. A good cultivation software should ensure that both government regulators and cannabis business operators can easily find the information they need and stay up to date with the latest regulations.

Cannabis regulations differ vastly from state to state, and even more so internationally. Look for software that takes state, federal, and international compliance seriously and has up to date compliance data from Metrc readily available in their system.

This is extremely important when it comes time for an audit. In the cannabis space, it’s not always the question of if your cannabusiness will get audited, but when.

Specific to making sure your grow facility is compliant, the cultivation software success team or a consultant should offer to help review your plant and product procedures to ensure compliance and safety, and to help create more safeguards against diversion.

Cultivation technology that is partnered with Leaf Data Systems is especially important for regulators and operators alike. Leaf Data Systems is a full seed-to-sale tracking solution that comes with a credible record of success and was made by the company that invented seed-to-sale.

For Regulators:
Leaf Data Systems helps government agencies responsible for finding an efficient and effective way to monitor compliance in the cannabis industry.
For Operators:
Leaf Data Systems helps operators and all licensee-facing activities to be performed in batch or real-time.
Ensures that licensees have all the tools they need to meet compliance requirements.


6. Time-Saving Features and Functionality
Certain features can turn hours into minutes, especially if you’re used to managing all your plants using pen and paper.

Look for the following functionality that saves time and makes your grow more efficient.

Mass product updates and modifications
If you’re managing large amounts of inventory, you should have the option to mass modify or mass update product information. For instance, moving all buds to a subcategory of finished flower, or mass modifying price, category, sub-category, pricing groups, or pricing class (mid, top shelf)
You’re almost certainly moving not a few, but several plants from room to room in groups. Batch updates are important so that you don’t have to update one plant at a time when their grow cycle stage changes
Label Creation
With a simple click, you should be able to edit and print any and all compliant product labels
Take a look at this recording to see more cultivation features in action.

7. Credible Cannabis Industry Leaders
One major trend happening in the technology space is tech “experts” recognizing an emerging market and creating businesses to capitalize on it. This means more and more tech startups are creating software catered to specific markets, and yet lack the industry domain knowledge needed to truly help scale your business.

Look for cannabis cultivation software companies that have been involved in the industry for years, truly believe in the benefits of cannabis, and are trusted market leaders in the space.

Remember, cannabis businesses are unique and require specific technology to meet their individual needs.

8. Consulting Services
Companies that offer cannabis business consulting services are truly invested in the industry. Look for software companies that offer compliance consulting services, aside from companies simply trying to sell you their product.

Below are examples of activities the consultants should offer as part of their services. These can vary based on your business goals and should be customized to fit your needs.

Review plant and product procedures to ensure compliance and safety, and help create more safeguards against diversion
Identify potential compliance issues in your operational set-up
Help with applying for and launching a compliant business
Whether you’re applying for a license or looking for a seed-to-sale solution, there are one-stop shops available for compliance consulting and software services for your cannabusiness.

9. Ongoing Support from a Customer Success Team
Whenever you have a question, a member of the cultivation software’s customer success team should be available to help. Quick online support bots on the company website can assist you quickly, so you’re not left waiting days for your questions to be answered via email.

The customer success team should not only be able to assist you with the software if you have questions but should also suggest proven strategies to ensure your business continues to grow. The team should always keep your ROI (Return on Investment) in mind and be considerate of the fact that you’re investing your well-earned dollars in technology so that your business can scale.

Instead of simply choosing software that offers features you may or may not need down the road, choose a company that can be your partner in the cannabis industry. By selecting a cannabis technology company that believes in the industry and is proven to innovate time and time again, you can be certain the success of your business will follow.

The good news? You can see cultivation software in action right now. Take a look at this recorded demo of cultivation software from MJ Platform.

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