The cannabis industry is new, and everyone working in that industry knows that it is constantly changing. While medical cannabis paved the way for some aspects of the rapid expansion of the industry, there is still a lot of uncertainty for cannabis companies, consumers, and regulators. How can the industry stay ahead and secure success?
Industry experts know that there is a lot to be done. Jaclynn Pehota, principle consultant at Althing Consulting Services here in Vancouver, BC, is one of those experts guiding businesses through the licensing process. Below is her conversation with the Icicle team, which has launched an advanced cannabis ERP system to help cannabis companies manage their production process and stay compliant.
Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge for cannabis companies that want to get their license?
Jaclynn Pehota: There are a lot of regulations to keep on top of with cannabis processing, so it’s a big challenge for cannabis companies to keep their operations compliant. Staying on top of cannabis regulations and maintaining a high standard of compliance is much more straightforward and efficient when you have a system to manage things like certificates of authenticity and recall systems. Since cannabis regulations are borrowing from food safety, the experience that Icicle brings from the food space and their knowledge of HACCP systems (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) will really help cannabis companies reach and maintain that high standard of compliance easily.
Q: How do you think Icicle (food & cannabis ERP system) can help companies address this challenge?
JP: Icicle really allows companies to do this work of focusing on the future. It is truly an ideal platform, especially for people entering into edibles, concentrates, and topicals. Icicle knows that as these cannabis regulations change, you have to react immediately in terms of workflow. The folks at Icicle do it every single day – they aren’t flailing around trying to figure out how to optimize those changes. It’s all here – nothing will come up in the future that Icicle hasn’t already addressed, head and shoulders above other platforms.
Q: What do you think is the biggest opportunity for cannabis companies?
JP: Since most people don’t want to smoke anything, the market potential for edibles, extracts, concentrates, and topical products is huge. The new regulations that started rolling out in August – we call them Cannabis 2.0 – is the mechanism by which people are engaging in production activities for foods and concentrates. The industry is certainly moving toward capturing this segment of the market, which is referred to as “value-added products.” It’s interesting to note that right now, a cannabis product that is transformed and added to something edible is not considered a food product – but that might meaningfully change as cannabis regulations evolve
Q: How do you think Icicle can help your clients take advantage of this opportunity?
JP: Icicle works great for cultivating cannabis, but the benefits will come through most clearly for these value-added products that undergo some transformation from the dried plant. The fact that Icicle has adapted a framework that has a higher standard of compliance to cannabis regulations will set up any company who wants to enter into this value-added space. Not only does Icicle integrate regulatory requirements, it also takes care of health and safety regulations and more. I haven’t seen any system do this nearly as smoothly as Icicle has done.
Q: What do you think cannabis companies should be paying attention to that they might be overlooking?
JP: Food inspection folks will respond very strongly to the first recalls or public health scare – so companies should consider that regulatory compliance during cultivation comes with a different set of issues compared to processes where you can have major food recalls.
Q: Do you think Icicle can help cannabis companies address these issues?
JP: A lot of in-market ERP systems are focusing on the emerging industry of cultivation but they are playing catch up when it comes to food production and processing. The standards for the things you absolutely need – tracking, traceability, auditability – already make up the base of Icicle. It is the foundation and nature of the system that sets it apart really strongly from other software in the market and ERPs. Icicle is in a great place to respond to anything that comes up now and in the future.
Icicle brings cannabis production and compliance together in one unified digital platform, combining expert knowledge and automation technology so cannabis companies can manage their business from seed to wholesale. Our thanks to Jaclynn for sitting down with us for this interview! You can request a free sample HACCP plan for edibles manufacturers here or check out our other blog posts about Icicle’s cannabis innovation.