Resilient businesses are always looking for the next emerging market. For process manufacturers, legal cannabis offers huge growth potential.
The global medical cannabis market alone is set to grow from just under $9 million currently to more than $49 million by 2028. And recreational products such as edibles, infused beverages, cosmetics and dietary supplements present further revenue-driving opportunities.
But moving into cannabis manufacturing isn’t as simple as adding a new string to your bow. Marijuana cultivation and processing is highly complex, and there is already a lot of interest in this space, so producing high quality goods will be key to success.
To capture market share quickly while optimizing your approach for long-term growth, you need a solid foundation. Industry-specific enterprise resource planning (ERP) software provides the necessary features and functions to thrive in the cannabis market.
To get you started, here is a high-level introduction to how process manufacturing ERP technology adds value.
1. Managing Volatile Raw Ingredients
Process manufacturing is an exact science. This makes operations particularly challenging when you’re dealing with living raw ingredients, such as legally-cultivated cannabis.
Marijuana plants are incredibly sensitive, and this volatility means crop yields can vary hugely. You need to build and manage a network of growers that will allow you to always source quality crops—ensuring high standard finished goods.
Process manufacturing ERP technology can really help you in this area, as solutions created specifically for the cannabis industry will include a built-in cultivation management application.
Cultivation management tools enable you to track factors that influence how marijuana plants thrive, to optimize growing conditions. They also allow you to build a network of suppliers, so that if you experience any unexpected problems—not just with the crops, but with additives, other ingredients and product packaging as well—you have vetted alternatives to turn to at all times.
2. Keeping Up with Legal Compliance
Process manufacturers are used to operating in tightly regulated industries, and the legal cannabis market is very stringent. Restrictions and requirements vary not just by country, but by region as well—and there are major legal implications for falling short of industry standards. Plus, regulations are constantly evolving as more states and territories legalize cannabis cultivation and consumption.
Most of the regions where marijuana can be legally grown require plants to be monitored via track-and-trace technology from approved software vendors, to control product potency, manufacturing processes, distribution and disposal.
Cannabis ERP software empowers your organization to record detailed crop information and track each plant from soil to oil, for complete compliance and transparency.
Industry-specific software cuts down on data duplication by integrating with approved seed-to-sale systems, to ensure that ingredients are managed in a compliant manner, before being labeled, marketed and shipped correctly. In addition to ensuring stringent product standards, complete traceability helps you get ahead of any quality control issues, rapidly recalling products if necessary.
Cannabis ERP solutions can also factor-in other industry compliance requirements to ensure all guidelines are met, such as food and beverage standards for the creation of edibles, or cosmetic and nutraceutical product labeling regulations.
3. Growing Consumer Confidence
Tightly managing the end-to-end cannabis manufacturing process does more than keep your business on the right side of the law; it enhances your customer credentials.
While 79% of people feel cannabis should be legalized, consumers need to know that the products they’re purchasing have been prepared to rigorously high standards.
Running manufacturing operations through industry-specific cannabis ERP technology delivers the transparency and accountability that your business needs to build consumer confidence. Every member of your team has access to the real-time data needed to manage the complete product lifecycle—including distribution and safe disposal—in granular detail, and you can use these capabilities to increase trust levels with the end customer.
In addition, putting ERP technology in place while the legal cannabis opportunity is still growing gives you processes and structures that can develop in line with the market. This way, customer confidence won’t be compromised by software limitations down the line.
Using Cannabis ERP Software to Manufacture Quality Products
Legal cannabis products are an exciting and dynamic emerging market, and there will be major revenue generation opportunities over the next decade. But marijuana is not an open goal for manufacturers.
Competition in the cannabis space is becoming fiercer, with specialist manufacturers facing opposition from new industry entrants such as alcohol and tobacco companies. Organizations with the efficiency, speed and agility to create quality products quickly will be best placed to maximize market share.
Choosing a cannabis-specific ERP solution is critical to your production capabilities, as it allows your business to pivot into the marijuana market while putting key components in place to manage cultivation, compliance and consumer trust.
If you’re ready to get started and capitalize on this emerging market, request a demo of our process manufacturing ERP software.