Seed-To-Sale Software Guide for Beginners

hands trimming a cannabis plant

What Is Seed-to-Sale Software?

The BioTrack seed-to-sale interface

Seed-to-sale software is software that helps you manage the whole process from growing cannabis, to processing, distributing, and selling it. Not all of what many would consider to be seed-to-sale software covers every stage of the lifecycle; some like GrowFlow include everything, and some like include just cultivation and manufacturing.

Some seed-to-sale companies, including BioTrack and MJ Platform, sell their software in modules that cover individual verticals (cultivation module, manufacturing module, etc.) so you don’t have to pay for features you don’t use.

Many seed-to-sale companies call their products ERPs, or enterprise resource planning software. This is a term that goes back many years in IT and refers to a comprehensive software product for enterprises, often manufacturers, that allows you to manage many different products, processes, and resources at once, and typically includes features such as inventory management, supply chain management, workforce management, accounting, forecasting, and records management.

Microsoft and SAP are two of the biggest names in ERP software, and several of the big cannabis ERP makers have built their software on Microsoft and SAP platforms.

Note: we won’t be including cultivation/grow-only software like TryM in this overview, but hope to cover them in a separate follow-up article.

Typical Seed-to-Sale Features

Grow tracking and forecasting – track your cultivation by growth stage, location, strain, ingredients, etc.

Processing tracking – track your cannabis as you turn into concentrates, edibles, and other formats

Waste tracking – most states require you to track cannabis waste that’s created as you grow and process your plants

Cost tracking – see how much your processes are costing you

Workforce management – see what your workers are up to and how efficient they are; track problems to specific employees; manage shifts

Inventory management – including of plants, products, and ingredients

Label creation – format and print out custom labels in bulk

Transfers – track deliveries between locations or with other organizations

Business reporting – custom tables and charts of costs, productivity, etc. that help you make better decisions for your business

Track-and-trace reporting – automatically submit data to your state authority as required

Automated compliance alerts – the software will alert you of any compliance violations right away, so you can fix them on the spot and not have to backtrack

Vendor management – track payments, transfers, and communications with your vendors

Key Benefits of Seed-to-Sale Software

Compliance

Seed to sale handles compliance in the background for you so you don’t have to worry about it (though at the same time it’s still your responsibility by law to make sure you’re following regulations and submitting accurate reports as required).

Increase productivity and efficiency

These programs make it easy to drill down into your operations and find where your inefficiencies and excessive costs are.

Make your job easier and less of a chore

Aside from the efficiency and compliance benefits of these products, they’re also just kind of cool and fun to use (at least if you’re data and chart nerds like us), especially compared to basic spreadsheet software

Better Just to Use Specialized Software for Each Vertical?

This is up to you. Most cannabis software integrates with a lot of other cannabis software, so using separate products isn’t a huge deal. If you’re going to get a separate product for anything it’ll probably be for retail, where you have a lot of great options, including Cova and Flowhub.

Top Seed-to-Sale Software Options of 2021

The best seed-to-sale software for you depends on your requirements and preferences. You may prefer a certain interface type or be looking for particular features.

The Default Option: Metrc, Leaf Data, or the Government Version of BioTrack

From what we hear, many cannabis businesses, especially those only involved in cultivation, just input their data directly into their state-mandated track-and-trace system – Metrc, Leaf Data, or BioTrack – or just use spreadsheet software. It works good enough for them, and it’s either free or they’re already forced to use it by their state. You also don’t have to worry about problems with inconsistencies between the track-and-trace system and your third-party software. On the other hand, the track-and-trace programs can be slow and clunky, and you miss out on a lot of the advanced tracking, forecasting, and reporting features of the third-party programs.

GrowFlow

Marketing focus: business management and profit

Started: 2016

Key Integrations: Metrc, Leaf Data, I Heart Jane, dutchie, QuickBooks

Background: GrowFlow was founded back in 2016 by Rufus Casey, whose background is in experiential marketing. In 2019 he switched over to CIO and Travis Steffen, an entrepreneur and advisor, took over as CEO. It received $8.4 million in Series B funding in 2020. They have around 60 employees on LinkedIn, including about 10 engineers.

Case studies: https://www.growflow.com/reviews

GrowFlow is the first name we hear mentioned when people ask for recommendations on seed-to-sale software. They’re known for their helpful and responsive support. It’s a full seed-to-sale platform that supports everything from cultivation to retail.

  • 4+ million transactions
  • $2 billion processed
  • 1,426 cultivators, processors, distributors, and retailers
  • 96% satisfaction rating
  • 2.5 minute average response time

Leaf Logix

Marketing focus: trusted by top brands

Started: 2014

Key Integrations: Metrc, I Heart Jane, dutchie, QuickBooks, BioTrack, Leafly, Weedmaps, Metrc, BDS Analytics

Background: According to LinkedIn, Daniel Grabowski was one of the founding partners of Leaf Logix in 2014; he had an extensive background in developing supply chain management software. LeafLogix was acquired by dutchie in 2021. They have about 50 employees on LinkedIn.

Request a demo: https://leaflogix.com/contact-us/

Leaf Logix has some huge names as clients, including Curaleaf, Columbia, Acreage, Verano, and Harvest. It’s a full seed-to-sale solution.

  • Used by 1500 cannabis facilities
  • $4 billion processed annually

BioTrack

Marketing emphasis: industry experience

Started: 2010

Background: BioTrack is probably the oldest seed-to-sale software out there. The company was started in 2010, and implemented the world’s first real-time cannabis seed-to-sale traceability program in Washington in 2013. It also runs the seed-to-sale programs in New York, Illinois, New Mexico, Delaware, and Hawaii.

Request a demo: https://www.biotrack.com/

In addition to running these track-and-trace systems, BioTrack also sells its own seed-to-sale software. The company has run into problems with outages and data breaches, and despite being around for a while you won’t find too many people eager to praise it. The interface is also a little outdated compared to more modern-looking software like GrowFlow. But it’s also known for having a fairly robust feature set that can do everything you ask of it. It’s a full seed-to-sale platform. It’s also the only seed-to-sale ERP we’re aware of that can be installed locally on your own servers.

  • Over 2,000 locations
  • Processed $20 billion in sales

MJ Platform

Marketing emphasis: compliance, scaling

Started: 2010

Key Integrations: Metrc, Leaf Data, Simplifiya, I Heart Jane, dutchie, QuickBooks, Leafly, Weedmaps, SAP ECC, NetSuite, Sage

Request a demo: https://mjplatform.com/request-a-demo/

MJ Platform, formerly MJ Freeway, is along with BioTrack one of the longest-standing seed-to-sale platforms. It was established in 2010 and has processed over $20 billion in sales as well. Like BioTrack, MJ Platform has had its share of technical issues and has plenty of detractors, but still has all the features you need, and has a nice modern interface.

Canix

Marketing focus: ease-of-use, time-saving

Started: 2018

Key Integrations: Metrc, QuickBooks, Xero, Flowhub, Meadow, Onfleet

Request a demo: https://offers.canix.com/canix-form-step-1

Supports cultivation through distribution. Started in 2018 by an engineering consultant and a senior software engineer from Facebook. They’re native iOS and Android apps.

  • Used by over 1100 facilities in 12 states
  • $106 million in orders processed

Need Help Selecting, Setting Up, Managing, or Troubleshooting Your Seed-To-Sale Software?

Contact the cannabis IT experts at Cure8 today for assistance with anything related to seed-to-sale software.

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