Cannabis From Seed To Sale


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Cultivera Resources – The term "seed-to-sale" is used often in licensed medical and recreational markets. But what is the seed-to-sale cycle? Seed-to-sale is a computer program that documents and tracks cannabis from a plant form to a product on a dispensary shelf. Learn more about seed-to-sale from Leafly. Seed to Sale tracking is required for cannabis operators in legal markets. Understand what seed to sale means for your business and how to navigate seed to sale reporting.

The Seed-to-Sale Cycle [Infographic]

In the regulated cannabis industry, you hear the term “seed-to-sale” a lot. From cultivation to technology, marketing to traceability, and beyond, it’s appearing more and more in industry conversations. But what is the seed-to-sale cycle?

Defining Seed-to-Sale

“Seed-to-sale” refers to the entire life and sales cycle of a cannabis plant or product. From seed planting to harvest time, on through production, processing, sales, fulfillment, and stocked shelves and all the way till the final consumer sale.

Likewise, “seed-to-sale software” refers to business management software that allows operators to manage and track products from the beginning of this cycle through its end.

But what does the seed-to-sale cycle actually look like? In this simple infographic, we break it down. Read on for details.

Breaking Down the Seed-to-Sale Cycle

The “Seed-to-Sale Cycle” includes a plant product’s entire life cycle, from the planting of the seed to the final sale. In our industry this typically includes Seed; Grow; Cultivation; Processing; B2B Sales; Fulfillment; Retail Sales; and the final Consumer.

  • Seed
    Like any plant-based product, the first part of any cannabis product’s life begins with the seed, cutting, or clone.
  • Grow
    The care and management of growing plants through the immature, vegetative, and flowering states. Traceability at this stage allows for full visibility into the growth of every plant, such as watering, grow style, or use of pesticides.
  • Cultivation
    The later steps of cannabis growing, such as harvesting, trimming, drying, and curing plant matter. This stage may also include post-harvest steps like reporting weight or destroying plant waste.
  • Processing
    This part of the cycle includes steps that prepare the plant matter for sale and consumption. This could be extractions, conversions, or packaging. This may also include testing and lab analysis.
  • B2B Sales
    Due to regulatory limitations in most legal markets, only licensed Retailers and Dispensaries can sell directly to consumers. This means cannabis cultivators, processors, and distributors work directly with other licensed businesses, and never consumers.
    This makes an active, functioning B2B Marketplace all the more important for individual operators.
  • Fulfillment
    This can include transfers, transportation, deliveries, or storage. Fulfillment workflows often involve tasks like manifest generation, account notes, and “last-mile” deliveries.
  • Retail
    This is when the cannabis product is on the shelf and menu of a legal cannabis retailer, allowing for qualified customers to purchase product for their personal use/consumption. Depending on the states involved, this may be a medical dispensary or recreational retailer.
  • Consumer
    The final step of the cycle is consumers. The end product gets to the consumer for use, with clear visibility along the entire supply chain, allowing for safer, more informed sales and consumption.
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Seed-to-Sale Cycle Infographic

As you can see, the seed-to-sale cycle encompasses the life and sales cycle of any given cannabis plant or product.

What About “Traceability”?

Sometimes, you may hear the term “seed-to-sale” used interchangeably with “traceability” or “track-and-trace.” However, traceability is the continued tracking, and only tracking, of a product through its seed-to-sale cycle.

For example, many state regulatory agencies use third-party seed-to-sale traceability platforms to track their legal cannabis market, such as Metrc.

But these platforms do not offer their users tools to manage or scale their business. Instead, seed-to-sale track-and-trace platforms are built to serve cannabis regulators and state agencies, not the businesses who are required to use them.

In contrast, Cultivera’s seed-to-sale business management software is built specifically to serve licensed cannabis operators. This is why Cultivera’s seamless integrations have so much to offer cannabis operations. Our vertical solutions simplify cannabis compliance by filling in those gaps from seed to sale.

Get This Guide

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Cultivera’s Seed-to-Sale Solutions

Cultivera is unique in many legal markets across the nation because we offer business management solutions throughout the seed-to-sale cycle: From seed sales and cultivation to cloning, transfers, distribution, through inventory management, wholesale orders, B2B markets, and the final retail point of sale.

The Cultivera Pro “seed-to-shelf” cycle. Grow Module for Cultivation, Harvest, and more, Inventory Module for Inventory and waste management, Sales modules for order input and B2B market sales, Fulfillment Modules for manifests and order fulfillment, and industry-leading Business Intelligence to keep track of it all, while putting your data to work.


A computer program that documents and tracks cannabis from a plant form to a product on a dispensary shelf. Every legal cannabis state is required by law to have seed-to-sale tracking software, but states with only medical marijuana may or may not be required to have it.

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Our-seed-to-sale platform makes it easy for dispensaries to track inventory and profits.”

“Seed-to-sale technology can help cultivators improve yields by keeping meticulous records.”

What is seed-to-sale technology?

In order for states to legalize the cultivation, distribution, and sale of cannabis, they must adhere to legislation designed to monitor all stages of the production and retail processes. Seed-to-sale software, such as Metrc, documents buying seeds and clones, growth of immature and mature plants, when harvesting occurs, when product is transported, and when product is sold to retailers, extractors, or customers.

This software ensures that cannabis business owners document the correct amounts of harvests and products, and that products are tested appropriately. In practice, every gram, eighth, ounce, etc. of flower, plus every pre-roll, edible, topical, and any other cannabis product belongs to a batch marked by a unique tag or QR code, which is updated as the plant or product moves through the production or retail cycle.

Why is seed-to-sale required to operate in the cannabis industry?

Because cannabis is still federally illegal, states must operate with transparency to avoid scrutiny. To legally operate as a cannabis company, businesses must provide comprehensive and consistent records of their operations, procedures, and profits.

While it may seem like overkill, seed-to-sale tracking is crucial in the event of theft, contaminated product, and auditing, as it provides a means for cannabis employers to survey losses and identify bad batches, and it shows a record of their compliance to state law.

Does medical marijuana require seed-to-sale tracking?

Medical marijuana programs operate in more of a gray area where records are not as stringent, so they are not necessarily required to have seed-to-sale tracking software—it depends on the state. In states with both medical and recreational cannabis, seed-to-sale tracking is usually required for both medical and recreational cannabis.

Cannabis From Seed To Sale

Starting a cannabis business is far from easy. Ensuring you’re following compliance rules and avoiding risks, while staying ahead of regulators is not a one-person job, or even a two-person job.

To stay in compliance, government regulations require you to track and report all of the activities of your operation, from initial plant to final sold product. That’s where seed to sale tracking comes in. Seed to sale is the lifecycle of the marijuana plant from the time the plant is planted until the final product is packaged and sold to the customer. Visually speaking, it starts with growing the plant, harvesting it, lab testing it, processing it, and packaging it, until it ultimately reaches the consumer.

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To ensure compliance, seed to sale tracking guarantees every gram of cannabis stays legal throughout its lifecycle. This assists state and local governments by enforcing regulations, collecting taxes, and preventing illegal cannabis from sneaking into the supply.

When you add up all the plant life-cycle stages, plant processing, testing, selling to retailers and then to the end user, you could be talking hundreds of data points to report.

It’s time for some technology

Seed to sale software is a digital inventory control system that state regulators use in marijuana programs to track the cultivation, processing, and sales of cannabis to consumers. With seed to sale software, data is sent in real-time to the state compliance systems or the software generates the reports you need to send into the government to stay compliant. This helps manufacturers track their inventory and manage production, all while staying legally compliant.

The benefits of using seed to sale software

Whether you’re a grower or a manufacturer, there are multiple benefits of using seed to sale software for your cannabis business:

  • Legal compliance: Most importantly, it ensures your business remains compliant — giving you peace of mind that you’re following state regulations across all areas of your business.
  • No more manual tracking: Seed to sale software systems with intuitive visual workflows save you time and effort, which ultimately, leads to more money saved. Digital inventory tools also let you leave the days of manually updating excel documents or tracking paper inventory sheets long behind you.
  • Invoicing makes order fulfillment simple: These software systems can also help manufacturers save time on order fulfillment processes with automatic pull sheets and invoicing features. Many seed to sale softwares also integrate with other business softwares you already use, like QuickBooks.

Many states continue to debate and vote on cannabis legalization, which means this is only the start of the cannabis boom. To stay ahead of the game, you need to choose the right seed to sale tracking software for you and your cannabis business.

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