Cannabis Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Cannabis SOP Templates, Development, and Implementation
Long-term success and ease in your business start with detailed cannabis standard operating procedures also known as SOPs, your business is going to need cannabis SOPs. In the cannabis industry, it is especially prudent where compliance is such a key component. To stay compliant, it is crucial to follow the regulations that get updated on the state level regularly and make sure your documents match. In short, the regulatory aspect of the cannabis industry moves quickly and changes often. PsyCann’s cannabis consultants can help you develop, organize, and maintain your SOP library.
Standardizing your process will give you peace of mind that your business will be run correctly and consistently no matter who works for you. Your team will be empowered and confident to know exactly what steps to take so your business remains systemized and consistent. All the workflow, every client-facing interaction, every scenario will be handled the same. All training and onboarding will be standardized and consistent.
PsyCann can provide templates, as well as develop and implement detailed cannabis SOPs. Contact us to learn how we can help your cannabis business with standard operating procedures.
How Can PsyCann Help With Cannabis SOPs?
Cannabis SOP Templates
Get Started With Marijuana SOP Templates Today!
PsyCann offers full suite of cannabis SOPs for all operation types, and even for the hemp industry.
Cannabis Dispensary SOP Templates
Cannabis Manufacturing SOP Templates
Cannabis Cultivation SOP Templates
Cannabis Delivery SOP Templates
Tips for Marijuana Standard Operating Procedures
1. Use Qualified Experts and Writers
If you find that the task of writing SOPs is too daunting for your business or you are inexperienced, then it's time to call in a professional. For successful cannabis business like yours, there are certain requirements: someone who understands legal compliance and can design or oversee successful cannabis operations; so finding the right expert will make all the difference.
2. Target your SOP Audience
When writing your standard operating procedures, make sure to write them for the person who is reading it. Use words and phrases that they understand – while avoiding ones they may not be familiar with. Additionally, keep in mind their goals- what are their main objectives? Is growing healthy cannabis plants what you're looking to accomplish as a business owner or do you want better safety protocols set up at your facility? It's important to know these things when drafting SOPs because everyone has different priorities on how to best achieve those goals!
3. Write Clear and Easy-to-Read SOPs
Your Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) need not be engaging or exciting, but they should have a clear flow that is easy to follow. A discrepancy in your standard operating procedures can wreak havoc for even the most organized canna-businesses. Before you start writing, it's important to take time and think about how others will read through them: what are their questions? What might confuse them? How can I best help readers understand my point without sounding too repetitive or condescending? Take your time and do it right, save yourself trouble down the road.
4. Safety First
Every business should be aware of the dangers that come with operating a company. It is vital to have SOPs in place and ensure they are followed, as well as to ensure all employees know what those protocols entail for safety and health emergency purposes. The last thing you want is an unsafe work environment or injuries on your property because of improper handling procedures! Alleviate risk from the get-go.
5. Prioritize Security Protocols
The importance of security protocols in the cannabis industry is paramount to protect staff and assets. For many, it may be difficult to get away from cash-only transactions that are common among other businesses due to federal banking restrictions on cannabis businesses. Keep your staff and financial assets safe.
6. Cash Handling Processes Are a Must
A thriving business needs to have a proper cash handling procedure. This includes how you carry out and record transactions, store your money and open or close the till. A good way to start is by learning what it takes for someone in charge of carrying out these procedures.
7. Don’t Forget Sales, Marketing, or Customer Service SOPs
The key to providing a seamless customer experience is consistent messaging. As you grow your company, it's important that all departments are on the same page and delivering uniform messages-- or else customers can become frustrated when they're not getting what they expect from one department to another. Enforce brand and customer loyalty. It's important to note as well that Psycann has digital marketing SOPs, something often overlooked in the cannabis industry but much needed due to small in-house marketing teams.
Cannabis SOP FAQs
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are step-by-step instructions on how to perform a particular task or procedure. They’re used as tools for demonstrating compliance with regulations and company policies in order to ensure the tasks are complete and consistent every time they’re performed. This is especially important when it comes to the cannabis industry which is heavily regulated.
To maintain a professional tone of voice, SOPs should never be difficult to read or vaguely worded. They also need to be brief and easy-to-understand while containing actions that are simple for employees to follow. They are especially useful for training new employees in an industry with a high turnover rate. Furthermore, these documents must always stay up-to date with the latest regulations in order “ensure they remain relevant and compliant.”
The importance of SOPs in the cannabis industry cannot be overstated. They are vital for protecting your business from non-compliance and mistakes that could have dire consequences on both you as an individual, or even worse, your company’s license to operate.
Here is why a robust set of cannabis standard operating procedures will help:
•SOPs lead to a safer workplace – With SOPs, everyone in the cannabis facility will know how to perform any task that may arise. This eliminates liability for your business because employees are doing their job safely and consistently each time they come across an unfamiliar process. It also ensures the health and safety of your employees which is worth more than money. Protect your staff.
•SOPs can save companies time and money. By establishing an organized streamlined process, employees will have less ambiguity in completing tasks. Establishing SOPs saves the company’s valuable resources (time) because there is no confusion or delays when executing processes. As they say, “Time equals Money!” So why not work to establish simple procedures that help you accomplish goals more efficiently?
•SOPs are a great way to make sure your team is on the same page- Whether you have new hires or different individuals performing the procedure, cannabis SOPs will ensure that everyone follows protocol and performs their tasks in precisely the same manner. This guarantees consistency of quality for all our products.
•Standard operating procedures (SOPs), lead to a high level of compliance. There are times when certain regulations or company policies must be followed, and that’s where SOPs come in handy. These documents outline what should happen no matter who performs the procedure; their actions will always follow whatever they can and cannot do to keep with any regulations that your state enforces.
SOPs must be written by individuals who have sufficient knowledge to do so. However, it is usually a senior staff member of a business or department that reviews and approves standard operating procedures once they are completed. For cannabis companies, this will vary depending on the business model itself.
Dispensaries have different SOPs than a cultivation facility and different hierarchies. A store manager might create the SOPs in a retail cannabis facility, whereas the master gardener might craft the SOPs in a cultivation facility.
The other option is to invest in SOP templates produced by professionals. Keep in mind these standard operating procedure templates do need to be customized for your business, so there is still some work involved.
If you are struggling to create SOPs, don’t worry. You may not have realized that the ones you already had in place- they were just undocumented! The first step is understanding how your dispensary or facility operates and what should be done when certain tasks arise. If there are multiple ways of completing any given task at your cannabis industry workplace, choose a standard way for all employees to carry out their responsibilities on day one. Set the precedent from the start to ensure consistency and clarity for all employees.
For the sake of clarity and accuracy, you should be mindful to identify what SOPs are necessary for your business. You can do this by making a mental list of all steps in an existing process or task that has starting and stopping points.
Rely on your staff to help create SOPs. Specifically, the staff involved with that particular process you want to craft the SOP for. The staff who actually carries out the work knows what must be done, and how it must be carried out. Once written down run them by employees in different roles for a quick assurance that it is complete and easy enough to follow along with. It’s definitely a team effort.
Creating SOPs is a necessary step in the cannabis industry, and it’s vital that you communicate them to your employees. Every employee must follow every single guideline at all times without exception or else things will start to break down quickly. Once things begin to break down it is extremely difficult to become organized. Start with a good foundation and maintain it. Your cannabis business’s compliance and employee safety rely on it.
In order to create an efficient and reliable system for all employees, store your SOPs in a safe place where everyone can access them. Additionally, one should develop a regular review process so that the policies are updated when needed as new rules come into effect or old ones expire. Many businesses still do this using paper and filing cabinets or store them digitally. This can create problems.
Psycann suggests a cloud-based system where you can store and edit the SOPs using one program. This leads to a more organized process and creates a “paper trail” of changes or updates made. We have access to this type of software, please contact us for more information or to schedule a demo.
SOPs don’t have to be complicated. In fact, it’s better that they aren’t so staff will actually utilize them! Keep things simple by using a basic structure with concise language and focus on making your cannabis SOPs as practical as possible while still staying within the bounds of what you are trying to achieve.
All standard operating procedures should include the following:
Role: The role is a job title or job titles that are expected to carry out the processes themselves.
Timing: The timing of the task should be clear so that everyone involved will know when to do it. For example, tasks may need to happen daily or weekly depending on the process being carried out and who needs this information at a specific point in time.
Purpose: Every SOP should have a purpose behind it. Why is this process needed? You need to give your staff enough information so they will comprehend the reasons for the processes and importance of the task being carried out.
A detailed, step-by-step breakdown of how to do the task or process should be created with clear instructions on who does it. If employees have freedom within SOPs to create their own process you’ve defeated the purpose. Some SOPs will have steps that must be followed in a specific order and others will list items that can happen in any order, but this needs to be clarified. Using either bullet points for non-linear SOPs or numbered lists for linear processes is highly recommended.
Equipment: This is the area to list out exactly what tools and or resources one needs to have access to so they can complete the task. This area also needs to about clarity, and obviously the tools and resources need to be made available to the person(s) carrying out the tasks.
Definitions: If any processes have in-house or industry terms or acronyms they need to be defined in this section. Anyone employee needs to be able to pick up this cannabis SOP and complete the task, even without any experience, translation, or industry knowledge. Be clear, be consistent, be concise, keep guessing out of the equation.
Date and Version: All companies should keep track of when and who created the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as well as when and who modified them over time. This will help your team members easily find old versions, which can be a treasure trove for finding out-of-date procedures that need to be revisited or updated. To make this process easier on everyone, put the version number in the footer so it’s easy to see at a glance what SOP is being used by each employee without scrolling through all pages looking for revision numbers! Psycann also recommends specific software to keep everything editable and organized in a “digital” filing cabinet. Contact us to learn more or request a demo.
Other information: Depending on the process and SOP itself, there may be additional information that needs to be noted. For example, for “closing procedures,” note all possible scenarios one might encounter closing down their dispensary. Your staff needs to know what to do in this given situation. Maybe they have stragglers in the dispensary, or the manager went home with the key by accident. If your team comes up with all possible scenarios it’s easier to come up with solutions and have them in a standard operating procedure. This section is also very important if the standard operating process covers any areas that could harm employee of clientele health. Set your staff up to succeed and keep everyone safe with clear protocols. Mitigate any chance of risks to others or liabilities to your business.
The short answer is, yes. A cannabis business is only as strong and successful as its foundation. And a company’s SOPs are the backbone of all their processes and operations, so it’s important to take the time to document them in order to keep your business compliant and efficient. It’s best to start with high priority processes and then work you way down to the lower priority processes.
Some cannabis operating procedures will have overlapping tasks, but the goal should be for every function or activity as well as role. For example, both the budtender and the store manager may have closing procedures SOPs that vary according to role. Another aspect is some SOPs require two roles to take part, again a budtender and a store manager may need to work together on a cash reconciliation SOP every night.
Cannabis Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are in high demand. Contact us today for a FREE consultation on how we can help.