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Quick Hit: Why You Should Rethink Seed-to-Sale Software

4 January 2021  |  4 min read

Dispensary grow

Choosing seed-to-sale software over a “best-in-class” software ecosystem is like using a swiss army knife to build a house.

Wouldn't you rather have the best tool for every part of the job?

To run a best-in-class cannabis business, you should be choosing the BEST software to serve each individual part of your business.

What is seed-to-sale software?

A seed-to-sale solution is an all-in-one system that tracks every stage of the cannabis supply chain. It literally tracks the entire process from the cannabis seed to sale, including growing, manufacturing, testing, distributing, and selling.

The industry has stringent state regulations for tracking the whole cannabis plant life cycle, which has led to the proliferation of seed-to-sale software vendors who claim to do it all.

But you don't need one single solution to track the lifecycle of cannabis and accurately report to your state's tracking system (like Metrc). You can choose dedicated software purposefully built for each license type — cultivators, distributors, manufacturers and processors, testing, and retailers/dispensary — depending on your market.

If you're vertically integrated, you should have a vertically integrated software too, right?

Nah. And if you're a strictly retail cannabis business, you have zero need for a seed-to-sale software.

Why seed-to-sale software isn't the best choice for your cannabis business

  • Diluted features

    Many seed-to-sale companies do some things well — like cultivation — but fall short on other important features, like point of sale.

  • Variable cost

    Seed-to-sale tools are built for every possible cannabis business need. You might end up paying for features you won't use.

  • Slow innovation

    Infrequent updates mean you might find yourself stuck with outdated, monolithic software solutions and need manual workarounds.

  • Higher risk

    With a single tool that does it all, you're putting all your eggs in one basket. You may get locked into a long term contract.

The better choice: Best-of-breed providers

The smartest cannabis businesses are favoring a new, more agile approach to software procurement.

Rather than trying to find an "all-in-one" software that includes everything, they're choosing the best tool for every job and linking them together to create an integrated system.

What is best-of-breed cannabis software?

Best of breed means the best product of its type. Companies often choose a different software provider to solve a specific need for each part of the business. For example, you might choose to purchase cannabis cultivation software from one vendor and point-of-sale from another, depending on your unique requirements and pricing constraints.

Best-of-breed also allows you to add additional partners that excel in their niche, like customer loyalty programs, CRM, cannabis ERP software, kiosks, HR/payroll providers, etc.

Why choose best-of-breed software instead of seed to sale?

While seed-to-sale vendors tout one source for all the metrics and applications to power your business as a superior solution, the marijuana industry is too vast and complicated for any one company to excel in every function of supply chain management.

In the attempt to be a jack of all trades, seed to sale platforms end up being a master of none. No one can be an expert in everything, which is why it's much more effective to work with specialists that will best serve your business.

cannabis seed to sale software best of breed


There are a number of reasons why best of breed reigns supreme, including:

1. Freedom to choose the best tool for the job

Best-of-breed software allows you to work with the masters of each step of the supply chain — and get the most from the best in the legal cannabis industry.

Business owners have the option to hand-pick a customized cannabis tool stack that does exactly what you need, starting with your cannabis POS.

Since each software vendor is hyper-focused on being the best at one thing, you can expect newer technology, faster innovation, more extensive features/functionality, and frequent releases.

2. Fast ROI

Best-of-breed solutions typically offer better user experiences, meaning they're more intuitive and easier to learn.

They also have faster implementation timelines at lower costs compared to seed-to-sale vendors. This makes the onboarding process easier for dispensaries that don't have big budgets or time to train staff, yet need real-time results.

3. Plays nice with others

Open API architectures are the cornerstone of best-of-breed software. They prioritize partnerships and the ability to integrate other systems with ease.

This allows your dispensary to automate data streaming and create efficient workflows primed to scale.

4. Lower risk

Cannabis companies, especially in tech, are mostly still in start-up phase, which means their long-term stability is unknown.

If your seed-to-sale provider goes under, your whole business is at risk.

With a best-of-breed approach, you have the option to implement software one at time, helping to reduce cost and minimize risk.

    Ultimately, the choice is yours whether you choose to go with seed-to-sale tracking software or best of breed. Flowhub is a best-in-class dispensary point-of-sale system. Watch a demo to see us in action.

    Nick Headshot

    Nick Rudy

    Nick joined Flowhub in January 2020 with a passion for cultivating a safe, legal cannabis community and supporting the industry as it grows. Nick advocates for the retail cannabis community through content and social media efforts.

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