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A Look at Cannabis Industry Distribution Networks

by Phume Mdluli
Cannabis Industry

The cannabis industry is a bit complicated, as you might suspect. Awash with federal rules, regulations, and state-specific decrees, it isn’t easy to start a cannabusiness, much less develop a distribution network. However, industry experts noticed this problem and developed equipment, maintenance, and distribution methods to fit the growing need for enhanced cannabis shipping.

The cannabis distribution network is often as large or as small as the brand wants it to be. For some brands, their entire interaction with the distribution network revolves around growers shipping to vendors. For larger brands, there are product acquisition, equipment transport, and even wholesale opportunities that impact distribution network conditions. Here’s what you need to know.

Smaller operations should still be scalable.

Even if a cannabis brand is determined to stay wholly independent from local markets, the distribution must scale accordingly. As the past year has shown, many brands relied solely on delivery and online shopping to sell their products. COVID-19 limited growing operations tours, in-person networking opportunities and forced many professionals onto the internet searching for assistance. So, while it’s possible to think and operate locally, it’s important to adapt your distribution model as needed.

On top of this, you’ll need a rough distribution network in place if you’re working with any equipment or asset management system. Asset management software and equipment maintenance platforms help spot preventive maintenance opportunities, reduce machine breakdown, and allow for easier in-transit tracking when gear needs to be repaired or replaced. While asset management systems and asset management software can spot these issues quickly, you still need a distribution network in place to help you ship and track equipment effectively.

Even a small brand needs to ensure it can process cannabis at a reasonable rate, or else it’s going to fall behind market standards and local competition. Since the cannabis plant is such an in-demand product, it’s easy for beginners to get swept up by their local markets. By thinking on a larger scale, you’re able to adjust your distribution expectations as needed.

Many brands outsource cannabis distribution.

Whether you’re looking to grow, buy cannabis seeds, refine products, or develop your own cannabis seed customs, you may want to invest in outsourced shipping and distribution. Of course, this will depend on where you’re located in the United States. Depending on your local regulations, you’ll want to verify CBD and THC shipping and distribution regulations. If you live in a state that’s legalized recreational and medical marijuana, you may be able to connect to a statewide distribution network from behind your computer screen.

Certain distribution services even oversee the entire plant life cycle, from weed seeds to bud to packs of flowers on the shelves of local dispensaries. Depending on your budget for shipping and distribution, as well as your THC output, you’ll be able to hit delivery inquiries with ease. Outsourcing is a great way for first-time sellers and industry veterans alike. Due to its utility, general availability, and return on investment, it’s a smart choice for anyone that works with the marijuana plant.

Cannabis distribution varies from brand to brand.

There is no “best way” to set up a distribution network. While there are effective, proven methods, some don’t work with brands that offer free shipping. Others won’t ship products that have a high CBD or THC level. Some only deliver on business days or accept limited payment methods, or don’t offer real-time tracking in North America. This means you have to devote some energy to finding the right solution for your unique brand.

Whether you’re growing regular cannabis seeds or developing a new Sativa cannabis strain for a medical marijuana dispensary, it’s important to know that your products get where they’re supposed to be, when they’re supposed to be there.

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