Let me begin by admitting that I wrote this article so I could use the headline in an official company post.. and get away with it! Also, I’d like to take the politics out of the situation by saying upfront that this is an article about the how and why of current legalisation processes happening around the world, and the million insights into the systems needed to drive it.

Recently, many US states have started legalising, or decriminalising, certain previously illegal drugs, with marijuana being the one most people are familiar with. Whilst many understand the obvious changes such as dispensaries in cities, there are also some very complex systems required to manage these businesses.

In a state such as Colorado for example, those people who are producing, selling or distributing these new legalised substances must track and trace almost every single area of their operation. These laws have been created to strengthen the security of the drug distribution supply chain, by adding controls such as a national track and trace system, and establish national standards for licensing of drug distributors and third-party logistics providers. Under the laws, manufacturers, re-packagers, wholesale distributors and dispensers must provide transaction information to subsequent purchasers.

In the future, track and trace technology will become a new global standard for pharmaceutical and decriminalised drug distribution. India is already planning to adopt track and trace technology, whilst America is moving towards one system for all 50 states, instead of each having their own requirements.

From the moment any individual product, component or raw material is ordered, the distributor must report the supplier information, as well as track all of the customer details for the sale. Whilst most inventory systems are designed to do just that (‘track and trace’ that is), these new legal requirement will add a whole new layer of complexity.

And it’s what happens inside the business where things begin to get complicated.

Within a business, there may be many different areas, including where production can happen, as well as storage areas and the like. Every single movement of product inside the warehouse must be tracked. In addition, when production occurs, every single batch that goes into that production must also be tracked. This means that if somebody purchases a product and encounters a problem, it can be traced back to every single source ingredient and right back to the supplier. In addition, you must be able to identify every other affected customer, plus every other batch in stock containing the same raw material.

Whilst this is obviously a government requirement in order to stop people producing the drug equivalent of Moonshine, there is no doubt this presents a huge opportunity for new, scalable inventory solutions. If you look beyond the fact that we are dealing with newly legalised drugs, this operation is not too dissimilar to several other industries we have helped to set up in the past. Industries such as breweries, wineries, food production, and many more all have the same requirements.

Providing you have met all the federal and state legal requirements in your area of operation, Waypoint are happy to work with any wholesaler, no matter how complex the inventory requirements are of any newly legalised industries. Over the years, we have set up a number of systems with many of these intricate requirements, including all of the above plus multi-currency assemblies, third party logistics, expiry dates and battery calls.

Although it’s a sensitive area on many levels (yes, we’re talking about drugs here), let’s put that aside and simply create an efficient system for your business. Whether it’s drugs you’re dealing, or perhaps beer, wine or cheese, give us a call and we’ll set you up to do it well.

Feel free to contact us here for further discussion, or leave a comment below.

Dan Fairbairn

Dan is passionate about technology as an enabler, with years of experience training, evaluating and implementing technology into small businesses. Outside of work he loves live music, craft beer and over-analysing sport...!

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