CannaCon Offers Products, Tips for Growers and Processors
February 28, 2017
SEATTLE—Practically each week on the calendar this year has seen another opening of another cannabis show. A couple of weeks ago, it was CannaCon in the Pacific Northwest.
The event, held Feb. 16-18 just north of the city center, showcased about 250 exhibitors and more than 40 presentations. Topics ranged from growing on a commercial scale to breaking down how the Trump Administration might affect the cannabis industry.
Although CannaCon wasn’t focused on cultivation and processing operations, owners and employees of cannabis grows could still learn quite a lot. On both the exhibit floor and the seminar stages, CannaCon featured products, services and guidance to help these businesses continue to improve their operations.
New products to benefit growers
The exhibit floor was full of companies eager to offer the latest in cultivation products and services. For example:
- Beneficial Insectary is an online source that enables growers to implement insect-based biological controls. With a wide variety of insects, the company provides information to help select just the right method of controlling a specific environmental threat.
- ABC Schools & Tools is a Washington-based company that provides a variety of processing services to the industry. These services include equipment sales, facility design and tenancy. But its specialty is the Clear Class aimed at helping their students learn to produce the clearest product possible on any type of extraction equipment.
- Drain Away Drain Tray is a single-piece circular drainage tray for growers who are using pots but are running into problems with water retention. Each tray is sloped to drain water through a standard ¾-inch pipe fitting so that multiple trays can be linked together and an entire row of pots can be drained through one drainage tube.
Advice to avoid costly mistakes
In the various seminars and panels, one common theme appeared to stand out: Don’t make the big mistakes. At least two presentations highlighted different types of mistakes and how to avoid them.
The first discussion was led by Jon Roskill, CEO of Acumatica. The company offers a cloud-based enterprise resource planning software to businesses both inside and outside the industry. Roskill recommended integrating automated processes that help manage everything from inventory tracking, production costing, scheduling, seed-to-sale tracking, reutilizing waste, and material requirements planning. But Roskill warned that automating these processes could come with serious growing pains if a business ignores four common mistakes in the planning process:
- Buying a short-term solution—Many companies still use software that’s difficult to scale with a growing business, such as using Excel for all their bookkeeping and employee management needs. Instead, Roskill suggested taking advantage of the presence of big software companies located in Seattle like Microsoft, Amazon and Google.
- Not having a realistic budget—Roskill advocated doing the proper homework and budgeting when planning to integrate business automation. The mistake many companies make is focusing solely on immediate costs like buying inventory, renting or buying a retail space, and hiring employees when planning an overall budget.
- Not having access everywhere—One of the biggest downsides to not automating a business is being tied to one computer, desk or office space. Owners and managers need all the information at their fingertips when they’re out in the field making decisions or managing their businesses from afar.
- Not embracing the cloud—Cloud-based automation offers not only the ability to access information anywhere but protection and security as well. And the cloud offers prevention from the crippling loss of data that can come when a company’s main computer crashes or faces significant downtime.
The second discussion, led by Gavin Bray, Business Development Executive of Alliance 2020, focused on avoiding hiring mistakes by properly screening potential employees. Bray cited President Reagan’s “trust but verify” dictum in screening all employees so as to mediate risk, confirm the provided information, and maintain a company’s reputation.
In addition, negligent hiring claims—lawsuits filed against an employer by a party who became injured by an employee whose background was not properly checked—are much more real and widespread than many people think, according to Bray. He advised employers to use a company accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) and complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) of 1970, which is used to regulate background screening and credit reporting.
By Kyle Brooksher
Dispensary Management Today articles are for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal guidance or advice on dispensary operations. You should contact an attorney or a qualified cannabis consultant for specific compliance and dispensary/retailing advice.
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