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Cannabis Inventory Management Must-Haves for Distributors

cannabis inventory management
Running a successful cannabis distribution business requires careful inventory management. With cannabis still federally illegal, distributors must closely track their inventory to stay compliant and avoid diversion. A sound inventory management system is essential. This article will explore the key elements every cannabis distributor needs in their inventory management process and tech stack to run an efficient, compliant business.

Seed-to-Sale Tracking

A proper seed-to-sale system is the foundation of cannabis inventory management. Seed-to-sale software documents the full lifecycle of cannabis plants from cultivation through sale to the end consumer. This provides complete visibility and control over inventory. Seed-to-sale systems track batch, lot, and package details and sync with state traceability systems. This ensures full compliance and prevents diversion into the illicit market. Leading solutions like Metrc also integrate with POS, labeling, and testing systems for seamless data flow. Robust seed-to-sale software is indispensable for licensed cannabis distributors. It’s the only way to accurately track inventory from seed to consumption while satisfying regulatory requirements.

Real-Time Inventory Management

Efficient cannabis distribution demands real-time visibility into inventory across the supply chain. Distributors need instant access to stock levels at their own warehouse as well as their retail partners’ stores. Real-time inventory management software provides this end-to-end transparency. It syncs with the POS systems of affiliated retailers and provides live access to inventory quantities, demand forecasting, and other data. With real-time analytics, distributors can optimize decisions on inventory planning, purchasing, promotions, and logistics. Out-of-stocks and spoilage are minimized. Efficiency improves, and bottom lines benefit.

Automated Reordering

Manual inventory management and reordering can be time-consuming and lead to mistakes. Automated smart reordering systems help streamline the process. Intelligent software can track inventory levels in real time and automatically generate purchase orders to refill stock. Minimum/maximum thresholds can trigger reorder points based on average lead and shipping times. Automated systems ensure orders are executed consistently on time. They free up staff resources while minimizing stockouts and spoilage.

Lot Traceability

Accurate lot traceability is another must for cannabis distributors. Complete visibility into the history and movement of individual lots is required for compliance, recalls, and waste management. A robust inventory system will assign and track unique lot numbers and barcodes. It should detail attributes like strain, potency, harvest date, and testing. Users can then trace any given lot through the entire distribution chain. In the event of a recall or complaint, the affected lots can be immediately identified. Waste disposal and diversion prevention are also improved through lot traceability.

Analytics and Reporting

Powerful analytics and reporting enable data-driven decisions for efficient cannabis distribution. Inventory, sales, and order data can reveal important insights for optimization. The key reports cannabis distributors need include the following:
  • Inventory variance: track shrinkage and wastage
  • Stock levels by product/location: avoid stockouts
  • Order history: inform purchasing decisions
  • Demand forecasting: align supply with predicted orders
  • Expiration analysis: minimize write-offs
Robust analytics ultimately help distributors improve margins through better inventory management and planning.

Integrations and Data Security

Lastly, cannabis distributors need an inventory management system that easily integrates with essential third-party platforms like seed-to-sale tracking, POS, ERP, and eCommerce. Open APIs enable these connections. Security is also crucial when handling highly regulated inventory data. Be sure any software adheres to cannabis industry compliance standards and data security best practices.

Take Control of Your Cannabis Inventory

Efficient inventory management is a must for licensed cannabis distributors in this highly regulated industry. The right software provides visibility and control over stock while satisfying compliance requirements. Key features like seed-to-sale tracking, real-time analytics, automation, and lot traceability empower better decision-making. Qredible offers leading cannabis tech software designed specifically for every facet of the industry. Contact us today to learn more!

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