WHAT DOES CANNABIS SEED-TO-SALE MEAN?
The majority of cannabis businesses track their products using the seed-to-sale method, but many still don’t quite understand what it means or how it came to be the industry standard.
In 1996 when California became the first state to legalize medical Marijuana, cannabis businesses weren’t given clear guidelines by the state on how to operate legally. As a result, DEA raids were frequent and seemingly at the federal government’s discretion. As more states legalized cannabis, however, the demand for clearer guidelines from Washington grew.
In 2013, then-Attorney General James M. Cole sent what has become known as the “Cole Memo” to the attorney generals in every state, explaining how to best avoid the ire of the federal government. “If states enact strict regulatory and tracking systems to their voter-approved, adult-use cannabis markets, the federal government will feel no need to interfere.” Cole was effectively saying they would leave the cannabis industry alone, but only if state governments closely monitored the activities of each cannabis business.
State governments have done just that, requiring cannabis businesses to keep detailed records on their products’ every move. Cannabis manufacturers and dispensaries hoping to operate legally must track each individual cannabis plant from the moment that plant enters the ground to the second it gets handed off to a dispensary customer. In other words, cannabis manufacturers and dispensaries are required to keep records of their products from seed-to-sale.