In an ever-growing competitive cannabis market, ensuring your products are manufactured properly is a must. Gone are the days where simply opening a marijuana business meant automatic success — with the number of companies growing almost daily, brands need to make their merchandise stand out from the rest and give customers a reason to keep coming back for more.
With cannabis edibles available in Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, and even across Canada, Wyld knows a thing or two about proper manufacturing practices not only in following restrictions and guidelines, but also in crafting high quality products. Their team shared some best manufacturing tips with Leaf Retailer that can ensure success with any cannabis brand:
1. Ensure Products are Consistent Across Multiple Locations
All U.S. states that have legalized marijuana require that the cannabis end products must be produced in the states that they are sold in, which means it can be difficult to keep consistent taste and texture when manufacturing across multiple different locations. Every Wyld facility uses the exact same ingredients, and each inbound ingredient is sourced using stringent specifications, and then inspected and tested for quality upon receipt.
“We work extremely hard to ensure we are exceeding regulatory requirements both nationally and internationally, and it all starts with how we source our ingredients,” a spokesperson for Wyld said. “Even the water used in the production process must meet specific requirements. Every aspect of the process is about controlling the variables so we can be sure each gummy starts with the same raw ingredients and ends with the same repeatable experience for consumers.”
2. Maintain Quality Control
With strict standards that differ from state to state, it is extremely important for cannabis manufacturers to have complete control over how their products are being made. Since there is no federal regulation, states are left to come up with their own rules. Some states cannot even agree if cannabis-infused products are pharmaceuticals or foods, which can add additional burden to businesses trying to make headway in this nascent industry.
According to Analytical Cannabis, analytical testing is necessary to confirm the presence or absence of potential hazards. Products should be tested for several parameters to evaluate their quality and safety. Testing the levels of bioactives in a cannabis ingredient is crucial to ensure consumers are receiving the actual benefits being marketed by the infused product.
Testing should also be done with ISO 17025 accredited laboratories to keep quality standards high and consistent for cannabis-infused products, as unaccredited laboratories may be sloppy, inconsistent, or inflate their numbers. The presence of microbiological hazards like bacteria, fungi, and yeast (or their byproducts such as botulinum toxin or mycotoxins) should be determined as well. Cannabis ingredients and infused products that harbor pathogenic bacteria, like Salmonella, Clostridium, or E. coli, can threaten the health and lives of consumers.
3. Perform Extraction & Air Quality Inspections
According to an article written by Bethany Moore, in an effort to prevent unnecessary Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions, it is important to maintain proper solvent transfer and storage, perform extraction equipment inspections, and ensure a maintained inventory and handling of solvents on site. Best practice for extraction and post-processing dictates the use of butane, propane, CO2, ethanol, isopropanol, acetone, heptane, and pentane as solvents to encourage safe consumer products.
It is also a good practice to utilize carbon filtration for controlling cannabis terpenes and odor emissions. Be sure to properly install engineered molecular filtration systems (carbon scrubbers) that are sized appropriately for a facility’s emission load and do not exceed the maximum cfm rating for air circulation through the filter.
4. Ensure Your Packaging Adheres to Regulations
Before the manufacturing process is complete and your products are sold to customers, packaging must also adhere to strict regulations that also differ from state to state. The state requirements for cannabis packaging that are passed into law must be complied with care, and doing otherwise could cost a manufacturer or a dispensary a fine or their license. Overall, the most restrictive states for cannabis packaging regulations are currently Alaska, California, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The least restrictive states are Arizona, Delaware, Maine, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
“All of our packaging must be appropriately labeled, child resistant, food safe, and shelf-stable. Our industry is well known for its packaging challenges, and we have become experts at addressing multiple layers of control while maintaining a strong brand identity and product experience. Our packaging process includes a mix of automation and hand-packing for quality control,” a spokesperson for Wyld said.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the most efficient manufacturing process does not always create the best experience. There is no cutting corners, and success goes beyond kitchens and equipment, according to Wyld. Whether you are looking to get started in the manufacturing industry, or are simply looking for some tips to better your brand, practice these key tactics today to deliver better and higher quality merchandise.