Maintaining compliance with laws and regulations is critical in the cannabis industry. If you’re not in compliance, you can be fined or have your license suspended or taken away. The threat of losing your license is enough to get many cannabis businesses to take compliance extremely seriously. Also, compliance violations can damage your reputation and decrease your valuation if you’re eventually looking to sell your company.
Most cannabis businesses have hundreds or thousands of regulations that apply to them, and you have to comply with them not just once but sometimes hundreds of times per day. Software can be a big help with staying compliant and keeping track of all this.
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What Is Cannabis Compliance Software & What Is It For?
Doesn’t My POS or ERP Already Keep Me Compliant?
Most cannabis software is technically cannabis compliance software. For example, cannabis POS systems and ERPs have built-in compliance features that help you automatically set purchase limits, check IDs, maintain purchase and inventory records, and submit records to regulators.
So what do you need extra compliance software for? Mainly, POS systems and ERPs won’t necessarily help you with every aspect of your business, starting with the steps you need to actually get your company going. A POS system, for example, won’t help you select your dispensary location, perform compliant background checks, develop a training program, or set up and maintain your surveillance system.
Can Cannabis Compliance Software Replace a Lawyer?
Maybe you’re also asking – I already have a lawyer or compliance officer helping me with compliance, what do I need software for? Or can I replace my lawyer with software?
For one thing, even if you have a lawyer or in-house compliance software, they’re not going to be around all the time telling your employees exactly what to do, step-by-step. That’s what the software is for. And also, no cannabis compliance software can’t replace a good lawyer, who can still help with overall advice, application writing, lawsuits, and more.
In general, cannabis compliance software is a great reference for cannabis regulations, for performing audits, for developing SOPs, for training, etc. It’s a great month-to-month and as-needed resource to maintaining compliance for managers and employees, and for tracking changes to laws and regulations. You don’t have to go through hundreds of pages of documents or consult a lawyer to figure out the laws that are relevant to your tasks/responsibilities.
Typical Features of Cannabis Compliance Software
This feature takes cannabis laws and regulations, simplifies them, and turns them into checkboxes or yes/no questions. You or your employees go step by step through each stage of the audit. Each audit is focused on a specific area of the business like a security system, a delivery process, product destruction process, etc. You can assign certain items to other people, and save results of audits to store and share with others, including regulators.
Similar to audit module but not necessarily tracked or focused on compliance, more on doing tasks a specific, efficient way. May be based on best practices or company policy rather than regulations.
Store and access documents, including audit results, licenses, and more.
Turn audits and SOPs into training materials that you confirm people view and sign off on.
Track changes to laws and regulations in your areas of operations.
Reports & Sharing
Track your internal compliance and produce and share audit reports with inspectors.
Top Cannabis Compliance Software
The Longstanding Leader – Simplifya
Schedule a demo now: https://www.simplifya.com/demo/
Simplifya is the most established cannabis compliance software out there. It’s been around since 2016. In a demo, Simplifya Territory Manager Wyatt Thomas told me they’ve had 20 different competitors come and go during that time.
It has the standard set of features in a cannabis compliance software: audits, standard operating procedures, and document management. In addition, they also offer license tracking and a portal called Simplifya Market Guide that provides a high-level overview of each state market.
Simplifya has a large team of fulltime regulatory analysts dedicated to specific states and regions, including 5 for California alone.
SOP templates are available at the state level, audits at the city level in certain areas. The platform has over 130,000 yes/no audit questions. Other cool features include an offline mode and tooltips and clickable citations that let you view the laws and regulations that specific parts of an audit or SOP are referring to.
According to Thomas, Simplifya is designed to be somewhat of a set-it-and-forget-it tool that admins only need to check once a day or a couple times per week. Everyone gets automated alerts in the dashboard whenever changes in laws and regulations relevant to them occur.
The Hands-On Upstart – ProCanna
Schedule a demo now: https://procanna-usa.com/request-a-demo/
ProCanna is a new kid on the block, started in 2020. They’re based in New England, with a lot of their clients in the area. They have the typical audit, SOP, and document management features.
According to their Director of Sales Doug Plunkett, some key areas where they stand out include their ease-of-use and support, with full-service onboarding and the ability to request compliance content for new areas.
Also, since it’s a relatively new software company, as a client you’ll have more opportunities to shape the direction of the application and request new features/changes.
Another area where they seem to stand out is with their training features, which includes the ability to upload videos, develop and assign quizzes, and track and maintain results.
A cool feature that they showed us in the demo: the ability to generate and print out QR codes, which you can then post in the appropriate area so employees can pull up audits and SOPs on their phone as they’re working.
Best for SOP Development & Tracking – BuildMySOP
Schedule a demo now: https://www.buildmysop.com/home/signup
BuildMySOP is what its name suggests, an SOP creation and management software. It’s also a service (though you can purchase just the application and stock SOPs separately) – when you first sign on, the BuildMySOP team will review your current SOPs and other documentation and work closely with your team to find and fill gaps in your current SOPs, writing new SOPs for you as needed, and importing and organizing everything all your procedures onto the BuildMySOP platform.
Once you’re onboarded, BuildMySOP works as both a training tool and a task management system. You can add employees as users, assign training to them, track their progress, and sign off on their training. Employees can log their hours completing specific procedures and view their schedules. Managers get assurance that the right things are getting done at the right time, and executives and compliance officers get a comprehensive audit trail to share with regulators and reduce overall company liability.
CEO Kady Cravens developed BuildMySOP after having worked at every level of the cannabis industry herself, from entry-level employee to executive. In a demo with the Cure8 team, she pointed out that in a typical cannabis business everyone is so busy and often wearing so many hats that important things don’t get done and there’s a general lack of accountability. BuildMySOP helps keep employees focused and accountable, and the business itself compliant.
Best for Manufacturers & GMP Compliance – Isolocity
Schedule a demo now: https://isolocity.com/get-demo/
Isolocity is a quality management system. It’s mainly for processors/manufacturers and cultivators to ensure they maintain and track the quality of their products, avoiding errors, contamination, bad batches, etc. Features include inventory tracking, order tracking, document management, SOP development, task management, parts and equipment tracking, audits and inspections, and training. Like BuildMySOP, they will work with you to customize your platform to fit your exact quality and compliance needs.
If you’re a cannabis processor looking for software to help you maintain compliance with quality standards like GMP and ISO 9001 as required by regulations (and/or because you want to maintain a reputation for quality among both buyers and consumers), Isolocity is the tool for you.
Best for Lawyers & Compliance Experts – Fyllo Cannabis Regulations
Schedule a demo now: https://hellofyllo.com/regulatory-solutions/cannabis
Fyllo is a marketing and regulatory tracking solutions company. A few years ago they acquired CannaRegs in 2020, a comprehensive, detailed, and well-maintained database of cannabis regulations. They now offer this as their cannabis regulatory solution.
While tools like Simplifya and Pro Canna help non-lawyers understand and follow complex regulations, Fyllo’s cannabis regulation solution is a great resource for cannabis lawyers and compliance officers that already know a decent amount about relevant cannabis regulations, and are looking for a tool to help them track changes and double-check the specifics and wording of specific laws and codes.
It even includes human-reviewed/created notes on relevant government meetings down to the city level, and notifications about any meetings you should possibly attend – and where you could perhaps even determine exactly what cannabis regulations get passed!
Best If You Want to Build Your Own Cannabis Software – Komplyd
Schedule a demo now: https://komplyd.com/
Komplyd is cannabis compliance software for other cannabis software developers. It allows developers to easily incorporate cannabis regulations into their software without having to read, interpret, and manually input these rules themselves.
Need Help Selecting Cannabis Compliance Software?
Contact us if you need help selecting your cannabis compliance software or you’re looking for something else. We can also assist with helping you comply with regulations, including designing and setting up a compliant facility and implementing and maintaining a security system.