Setting Up a Cannabis Extraction Facility? Here Are Some Key Considerations

Laboratory software for cannabis extraction labs

January 27, 2022

Introduction

There are several factors you must consider while setting up a cannabis extraction facility. Some of the factors include investment fund planning, choosing a location, equipment procurement, staff recruitment and training, waste management, and all applicable laws. Starting a new cannabis extraction facility requires a considerable amount of time and careful planning to ensure all areas have been contemplated. Quick and impatient decisions may lead to severe flaws, thus interrupting the facility's productivity.

Following are some key considerations when setting up a cannabis extraction facility:

1. Location

Cannabis is not legal at the federal level in the United States and many other parts of the world. However, many US states and several countries have legalized cannabis. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly understand and follow the applicable statutory laws of the place where you plan to start and operate the facility to avoid hefty regulatory penalties.

2. Regulatory Compliance

Meeting compliance is one of the most essential and mandatory requirements when setting up a cannabis extraction facility. Extraction facilities in most parts of the world are required to operate under current good manufacturing practices (cGMP). You may also discuss the regulatory requirements with local, state, or national government officials to properly understand the laws and compliance requirements at a granular level.

3. Staff Management

Human capital acts as a pillar of any company. One of the most important considerations is recruiting and training staff. You should judiciously recruit your staff after comprehensive due diligence, even if it is time-consuming. Your staff should be reliable, qualified, trained, and competent to perform the tasks assigned and tackle the operational challenges. Your team should have experts who are well aware of the cannabis extraction and in-house testing processes.

4. Waste Management

Waste management is a factor that is critical for the success of any facility and is also crucial from the regulatory point of view. Many countries have strict regulations in place regarding chemical vapor release, disposal, and storage of hazardous materials. You should have an in-depth understanding of the laws around the storage and disposal of hazardous materials at the location where you are planning to start your facility. You should have a documented action plan to avoid risks to employees if a chemical is accidentally spilled. Your staff should also be well trained on how to dispose of waste to minimize its impact on the environment.

5. Supply Chain Management

Effective supply chain management is a critical part of every industry as it includes the movement of products, including raw materials and finished goods, between different departments, businesses, and locations. It is essential to streamline the supply chain, both externally and internally, for the success of your extraction facility. You should have a robust quality and inventory management system to track the movement of products from seed to shelf. A transparent supply chain lowers the risks of product contamination and prevents losses.

6. Equipment Selection & Management

It is important to select the right extraction equipment for quality assurance and to increase the efficiency of your extraction processes. Replacing equipment after installation can be quite expensive and time-consuming. Hence, you should purchase equipment after thorough research, keeping in mind your budget, goals, and requirements. You can buy basic extraction equipment in the beginning and upgrade it later per your requirements to prevent economic losses. The selected equipment should meet all safety standards for operational safety. To maintain safety standards, it is recommended that the extraction systems are UL-listed (UL refers to Underwriters Laboratories) or have similar Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) certification.

Role of a Laboratory Software in Cannabis Extraction Facilities

A laboratory software for cannabis extraction, also known as a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), is an essential tool for automating operations of cannabis extraction laboratories. It helps streamline QA and QC procedures and manages the results of QC samples. It helps manage data and comply with regulatory guidelines and industry accreditation standards. It manages laboratory equipment and schedules their timely calibration. A laboratory software for cannabis extraction enables laboratory managers to schedule staff training and assign tasks to staff based on their competency. A cannabis LIMS manages test results and standard operating procedures (SOPs), maintains a complete chain of custody for every extracted sample, and generates custom certificates of analysis (CoAs). It ensures efficient and secure workflows in cannabis extraction laboratories.

Conclusion

Starting a cannabis extraction facility is complex as it involves many important factors to consider. From selecting the right location, building a reliable team, meeting regulatory standards to making fundamental decisions, setting up a cannabis extraction facility is a challenging task. It is important to consider all key factors that go into setting up a cannabis extraction facility. An experienced and trustworthy team is essential to help you navigate through this complex landscape and make the right decisions. A laboratory software for cannabis extraction can automate your laboratory workflows and help you make data-driven decisions for maximum productivity. It helps meet regulatory compliance such as cGMP, streamlines processes, and provides real-time access to all required information.


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