As the cannabis industry grows, one of the most popular product categories is edibles. Such products are cannabis-infused foods and beverages that are consumed either for recreational purposes or to treat a health issue. They include candies, cookies, energy drinks, gummies and teas.
The issue of food safety is a complicated one for cannabis companies. In states where these products are approved for sale, there may be some local regulations and guidelines. However, with the absence of federal regulations, many businesses struggle to determine how to address food safety.
That’s where enterprise resource planning software (ERP) can play a pivotal role. With an ERP designed for the cannabis industry, you can address key food safety issues and be prepared for future regulations at all levels.
Here is a look at edibles at the intersection of cannabis and food ERP solutions.
Approaches to food safety compliance
Food safety for cannabis companies can touch on multiple issues, including some common to food and beverage businesses, such as:
- Inaccurate labeling
- Food-borne pathogens
- Disease outbreaks
In addition, there are issues unique to the cannabis business sector, including:
- Extraction methods
- Bacteria and mold growth
- Pest and pesticide contamination
- Chemical exposure
- Employee handling
- Unintentional consumption or overconsumption of edibles
The consequences of a food safety event are potentially substantial, including liability and damage to reputation and public perception.
Some cannabis companies take a conservative approach and follow guidelines established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Food Safety Modernization Act establishes guidelines for manufacturers to use for identifying and addressing risks, sanitary transportation and certifying foreign suppliers.
For cannabis companies it’s complicated. Without federal regulation for such businesses, the FSMA does not apply. Yet states and municipalities have their own unique regulations and restrictions, meaning companies need to be mindful of many different guidelines to remain compliant.
Food ERP solutions and cannabis companies
Cannabis-specific ERPs help by providing the structure, integration and processes necessary to follow best practices for food safety. Here are some of the critical ways a cannabis food ERP can help:
- Seed-to-sale management. Tools that track plants forward and backwards at every stage of growth and processing allow for specificity and detailed reporting.
- Inventory management. Automation tools help improve the tracking and recording of important inventory data, including expiration dates, product quantities, RFID plant tags and serial and lot numbers. These data points help manage inventory levels, recipes, labeling, quality control, supply chain management and traceability. The tools also can automate accurate product label creation, expiration dates and testing for contaminants.
- Recipe management. One challenge for the cannabis industry is the inconsistency of taste, texture and smell from batch to batch. Your food ERP should include recipe and formula management functions that track raw materials, revision history and production notes.
- HACCP planning. The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points planning details procedures to protect consumers from chemical, physical and biological dangers. Incorporating control points into your ERP lets you prevent and control hazards before they affect food safety.
Choosing the right cannabis ERP
NexTec provides cannabis companies with insights and industry knowledge to identify the right food ERP solution. Learn more about technology that runs your CannaBusiness.