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Maintain Meticulous Records for the Grow

September 12, 2018

With the cannabis industry’s strict regulatory environment, keeping accurate, detailed records has never been more important. But besides just keeping your state’s regulators happy, these records also benefit your business.

Take, for example, the pesticide controversy that rocked Colorado in 2015. Although the problem was complicated—the state had two different banned pesticide lists—one cultivator’s pesticide records became central to the controversy.

In this court case, representatives of the business said they lost their pesticide records when coffee was spilled on the log book. Then someone mistakenly threw away the log book. Without a record of which pesticides were used and in what amounts and how frequently they were used, the judge had to base his decision on the worst assumption: This business was hiding something. In the end, the judge ruled against the business and in favor of state regulators.

You need records

Everyone working in grow rooms must understand what’s being catalogued and why. That includes lighting schedules, feeding schedules and products, pesticide use, etc. In other words, log everything.

But don’t just note that “X” pesticide was used at “Y” time of day. Note the amount, how long the sprays were, when they started and when they ended, and so on.

If you’re following the rules, you’ve got nothing to hide. If you mistakenly break the rules, having a log of everything you’ve done will give regulators a better idea of how to tackle any problems. The more information they have, the easier their jobs will be and the happier they’ll be.

And ensure that your employees date, time-stamp and sign off on everything. It’s just as important to know who logged in the information as it is to know what that information is.

You need backups

It’s good to have records on paper, but you should also have copies. The best place to keep them is online. Storing records on a hard disk is an excellent idea, but the disk can be destroyed or tampered with. So also consider storing the records on the cloud. There’s no true physical location, so there’s no way to damage your data.

Recordkeeping can be a time-consuming task, too. It’s best to back up everything on a weekly basis, at the very least. Making frequent backups not only updates your records in a timely fashion, it does so in a way where that information is still fresh in your employees’ minds.

Records help you grow better

When it comes to grows, experimentation lies at the heart of crafting in-house trade secrets. We all trust our lead growers to do their best work possible and keep their grow secrets confidential, but what happens if they aren’t your lead growers forever? They may move on to a new position and, if they do, they’re taking their best-kept secrets with them.

With detailed logs, you don’t have to worry. Anything and everything done in the grow can be accessed by you and any new growers you bring on board. This information is, after all, your proprietary data.

Additionally, these records help everyone keep track of what was done in the past. As a team, you can comb through this data to improve water/feeding schedules, lighting methods, or anything else that happens in your grow rooms. The more information you have available, the better you can pinpoint problem areas or find new ways to make your grow more efficient.

Get help creating streamlined record keeping practices with customized training fit for your cultivation practices and location. Cannabis Industry Institute provides online, onsite and custom training in METRC, Cannabis Growing, Colorado Cannabis Compliance Requirements, and Washington State Compliance Requirements. Contact us to learn more about your options for securing your grow with trained employees.

By Randy Robinson

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