The words standardisation and regulation have merrily been bandied around within the cannabis industry. Even more so since authorities are moving towards the legalisation of both recreational and medical cannabis.
Both regulation and standardisation are needed if the cannabis industry is going to start walking in the shoes of other grown up and legitimate industries. However, despite being vastly different concepts, often times, this difference isn’t always clear, leading to confusion. And especially in our industry causing the odd hackle to rise at the thought of yet another law or rule that cannabis businesses have to adhere to.
What is exactly is the difference between standardisation and regulation? And how can standardisation increase profits for your cannabusiness?
Quite simply put, regulation refers to the laws, statutes and rules concerning cannabis as required by states and governments. Basically, the Law.
Standardisation, on the other hand, are guidelines for growing, producing and distributing a certain class of product or service. It is something that is (and should be) driven by the industry itself. It encompasses things like Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) and Good Manufacturing Practices.
Standardisation involves concepts and processes that ensure that what is delivered to the consumer complies with standards of quality, safety and consistency. It helps you to minimise losses. It reduces your risk. It can also most certainly help legitimise the industry.
"Regulations are laws that you have to comply with, standardisation are processes and procedures you implement to make sure you deliver a safe and consistent product."
What Standardisation can do for your Cannabis Business
The legitimate cannabis industry is relatively new. And as such, many cannabusiness owners have to wing it when it comes to things like developing safe products, optimised production and manufacturing processes and distribution. For the most part, things are going great, but a lot of business owners still experience hiccups when it comes to developing and producing safe products or having to adjust to rapidly changing regulations.
Industry-wide standardisation can not only help mitigate these issues but can actually make a difference to your bottom line. According to FOCUS, implementing standards can increase gross profits by up to 33%.
Let’s have a look at how adopting good manufacturing practices and standard operating procedures can benefit your cannabis businesses and make you more money.
Increased Quality & Improved Consistency
In the cannabis industry, as in most, building and establishing brand authority is king. When you consistently maintain a premium quality product or service, customers can trust you to deliver what it is that they need and do so reliably and consistently.
This creates trust in you and your product, in turn creating and establishing brand loyalty. It also helps to give you a marketing advantage in an already very competitive industry that improves your ability to expand into current and new markets.
But, it also goes one step further. It brings a certain amount of credibility to not only you but also the industry - reshaping the oftentimes negative perceptions that accompany cannabis and the industry. We can all do with a bit more of that.
Automated Workflows Means Increased Productivity and Operational Efficiencies
It might seem obvious, but when workflows are automated, you have a better handle on things. Workflow automation assures that products are traceable throughout the entire process leading to increased efficiency. Similarly, it decreases your risk for things like production losses, theft, poor production management and quality deficits.
It also allows you to make data-driven decisions in relation to your productivity and monitor your profits and losses more closely. All of which help you to maximise profits and decrease operational costs.
Simply put, with standardisation comes improved operational efficiencies. This means that you can reduce the number of resources required to operate you cannabusiness and increase your profit margin exponentially.
Staff Training, Safety & Retention
As with any industry, training and development is an important part of attracting and retaining top quality staff. Because you are able to provide additional opportunities for your staff to develop and improve their skills and knowledge you are also more likely to retain the staff you have. This means safer working environments, increased satisfaction and employee engagement. Good news for your bottom line as happy employees not only means increased productivity, but you also save on recruitment costs and time.
However, staff training goes further than just that. Well trained employees mean increased credibility in the eyes of your customers. For instance, a recent ASA study showed that up to 80% of dispensary staff do not have training that includes medical or scientific information. Which dispensary would you rather go to?
Compliance with Continuously Changing Regulations
Cannabis regulations are constantly changing and evolving. And you, as a cannabusiness owner, need to keep up with those changes in order to be able to operate legally. When you adhere to standardisation protocols, your ability to meet regulatory requirements becomes less complicated and easier to maintain. It also leads to financial benefits like reduced insurance costs.
So, you see, standardisation for both the cannabis industry and your cannabusiness is a good thing. It can completely revolutionise the cannabis industry. The manufacturing and growing sectors will develop even faster. It will make current services and products consistent. It will improve and simplify the evolution of new ones. The cannabis industry can become a valuable voice for and contributor to cannabis education, social welfare and environmental protection.
Most importantly though, standardisation will contribute to not only the economic and financial growth of the industry but more importantly to that of your cannabis businesses too by increasing your profits and mitigating your losses.
Lieze Boshoff is a Cannabis Content & Copywriter that mixes her knowledge of the cannabis industry, psychology and marketing strategies to help cannapreneurs & cannabusinesses establish their brand’s authority and grow their market share.
Want to see how she can help you? Contact her here for a free consultation.