What are cannabis cultivation/harvest Standard Operating Procedures, how to write them, and why they’re important?
Buddha’s Harvest is no stranger to standard operating procedures (SOPs). We develop customized SOPs for each and every facility that we engage. But what are SOPs, and why are they so important? According to Cannabis Business Times they’re an “outline of exactly how to conduct every process of your operation”. Hubspot (a popular CRM platform) calls them “a step-by-step list of instructions detailing how to execute a routine procedure”. Simple enough right? Wrong, the devil is in the details! Good SOPs can make all the “difference between profit and loss, compliance, and court case”.
SOPs should be VERY simple and easily digested. They should have bullet pointed steps that flow in line with daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. As Edgar Allen Poe in his writing “The Philosophy of Composition” asserts, one should “know the ending in advice before writing”. In other words we should know what we want the end product to be, and work backwards. In the spirit of Charlie Munger, we should look at all problems backwards to help create and reveal new solutions. If you want good end product - identify the gaps in the process leading up to testing or retail sales and close them. Start with a complete list of functions that the team must execute. Use checklists, flow charts, detailed instructions, and imagery. Okay, get your pens out, I’ll provide you an SOP on how to write SOP’s.
1. Analyze: Assess the space and work flow, define each task in detail, remembering to keep it as concise as possible (your team will likely not read a 100 page SOP on harvesting).
2. Consider each angle: walk through all possible scenarios and variables, things like safety, contamination risk, and simplifying each tasks should be considered.
3. Thinking ahead: Again, consider the end product, this will help avoid any missteps or oversights.
4. Reflect: Identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and pain points. Seek hands on feedback, ask your team, speak with experienced cultivators, harvesters, and SOP professionals to review and critique your outline.
5. Measure: Determine how the SOPS will be measured, tested, and reworked always allowing for some level of flexibility.
6. Implement and test: So how do we create standard operating procedures for organic material that essentially has a mind of its own? The answer is: leave room for variation and “one offs” Don’t get bogged down in black and white paper. Instead keep operations somewhat grey and open to slight onsite improvisation. We call this flexibility - with a spine!
But why do we need SOPs, can’t we just grow and harvest cannabis? SOPs not only allow you to systemize, structure, and maximize your yield, they also point to key performance indicators (KPI’s), and they establish methods to measure growth. SOPs create standards that allow for replication, increasing likelihood of consistent quality product, and ultimately dependable revenue. SOPs in the regulated cannabis market are particularly important for compliance and to avoid legal missteps. The B.C.C utilizes track and trace through the Metrc system. Metrc is a compliance software intended to track the life of each individual plant from seed to sale. It is entirely necessary, yet cumbersome. As with most business operations the stronger your procedures are, the more likely you are to overcome challenges. So take the time, consider each variable, and begin writing some simple procedures for your team. It will help you sleep at night and if ever, as a business owner, you get a day off- you will be glad there is a document on file for teammates to reference.
A common euphemism is “one person's weed is another person's flower”. In the right conditions, with the proper planning, and preparation cannabis can be very easy and delightful to grow. As a result cannabis cultivation can be monotonous, constantly striving to improve daily, weekly, and monthly task is how cultivators reduce costs and find satisfaction in their work. The more cannabis cultivators are able to automate, regulate, or otherwise schedule, and plan cannabis harvests’ the greater chance of maximizing yield and potency. Increasing efficiency even 10-15% can dramatically affect your cannabis harvest yield, potency, value, and healing properties.
In commercial cannabis cultivation each step of the process needs to be organized and broken down to the moment. Bottle necking can cost you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours. We’ve looked at the numbers for sophisticated commercial state of the art grows. We’ve found the most efficient and cost effective method of harvesting cannabis is to hire a professional harvest company, to manicure your bud and process your harvest. Therefore, let’s go over the reasons a commercial cannabis cultivator would hire a professional cannabis harvesting or cannabis trimming team/crew.
Professional cannabis trimming and outsourcing of labor is a fairly new position in a growing industry. Not only is it hard to find good cannabis trimmers/processors, it is difficult to keep them especially- when harvest aren’t back to back. The inconsistent nature of cannabis harvesting as facilities expand can be burdensome. The cost of the following can be astronomical:
Finding and Interviewing talent
background screening, finger printing, assessing state and local compliance
vetting and training talent,
managing, scheduling, coordinating
setting up payroll,
dealing with conflicts coaching and termination
all while transplant cleaning/resetting rooms
drying, curing, test preparation, & packaging
plant health assessment/Q.C.
Hiring a professional hand trimming or cannabis harvesting company takes the stress out of payroll and cannabis human resources that can slow the harvesting process by up to 25% and cost over 30% of overall harvest revenue. Cannabis harvesting and hand trimming crews especially in southern California, are the most efficient, easiest, and cost effective way to manage the harvest process. At Buddha’s Harvest company we only hire top talent, who are fingerprinted and background screened.
~Buddhas harvest company is a professional cannabis harvesting company based in southern California. We specialize in hand trimming. Buddhas Harvest Co focuses on the zenith of efficiency by building custom standard operating procedures for each new client or facility. We consider each variable in the harvest process, to ensure efficiency and reduced costs.