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Stay Compliant With Barcode Labeling
In the cannabis industry, you’re constantly under a metaphorical data driven microscope. From tracking your products seed-to-sale, to reporting on your daily inventory and sales, you are constantly asked to document your work.

When your industry is heavily regulated, there is no room for error, yet plenty of opportunities to make one. In 2018, the California cannabis industry learned this the hard way, when nearly 20% of all of its marijuana product tests failed their quality assurance tests. Of that percent, 65% of failure was due to labeling mistakes. In particular, the labels incorrectly reported the product’s potency, deviating more than 10% from its actual value.

Receiving a failing grade for your product due to a small error can be disheartening and frustrating. Luckily, implementing barcoding technology can easily fix label errors and ensure accuracy on your marijuana labels.

Barcode Labeling: How Does It Work?
Barcode labels support your compliance efforts through their convenient automated data collection abilities. In each barcode, you can store the tagged plant’s batch number, strain, potency and other identifying information.

Barcodes also store critical information about your dispensary. This includes which employees were responsible for the plant, where the plant was placed in the greenhouse, and that greenhouse’s unique number. This level of oversight is not only key for compliance: It also provides valuable insight that informs how you manage your product.

Barcodes can transfer data to your seed-to-sale tracking software. With this, you gain valuable insight into your operations, which inform your decisions on how to further optimize your business. And if the seed-to-sale software you use is compatible, it can integrate your greenhouse’s data to your state’s web-based compliance platform, such as METRC.

In today’s fast-paced market, manually entering data by hand can stifle business and provide interference for your company’s potential. It burns time, increases the chance of error, and takes your employees away from their other essential tasks. But with a quick barcode scan, you gain important information about your bud, its strain, potency and date of harvest.

Labeling Basics: What Do I Need To Include On My Label?
Government regulations over the cannabis industry can be quite confusing. While the industry standards are often changing and vary by state, you can expect to report the following:

The pesticides, herbicides and other products you used when growing your product.
Your product’s strain and batch number, as well as its quantity.
Your product’s lab test results.
Date of manufacture and harvest.
Dosage, if applicable.
The name of the lab that tested your product.
Some states also require a health advisory on product labels.

There is no room for error when you are reporting to the government. While it is often recommended to barcode right when you cultivate your product, it’s never too late to start. With proper training and the right plan, barcode implementation is easy.

Label Design Compliance: How Do I Design My Label?

In addition to making sure you have the correct information displayed on your label, you also have to make sure it is designed according to your state’s specifications. AB&R offers a free 30-day trial of BarTender by Seagull Scientific, which allows greenhouses to print their own custom labels on demand. Bartender also integrates with Seed & Beyond, a Cannabis ERP software solution. While we recommend you check with your state on design requirements, we can help if you need BarTender setup & basic training services.

Verify the Quality of Your Cannabis Label
So, you’ve captured and reported your plant’s data using barcodes, and you designed your label to your local government’s standards. Now what? Many companies rely on barcode verification systems that ensure the quality of their barcodes. In compliance labeling, this provides an extra layer of protection against test failures.

Barcode verifications tests your barcode to ensure that it meets industry standards and that scanners can read the label. It grades on a level of A to F (or 4.0 to 0.0). An “A” grade indicates that your barcode meets all standards and that a scanner can read it.

Luckily, there are several printers on the market from industry leaders like Zebra and Honeywell that can verify barcodes as they are printed. Honeywell’s PX940V has a verifier built into it, whereas Zebra’s ZT510 and ZT600 lines integrate with several types of verifying solutions.

Next Steps
Are you ready to learn more about how barcode technology can help you? Let’s ace those tests!

Give us a call so we can explore your needs and find a solution that works for you. We’re here to help you succeed.