When the California licensed adult-use cannabis industry was still in its infancy, Jessamyn Stephanía created NUG’s specialized track-and-trace system to collect data, make projections and streamline production to improve efficiency while reducing risk. Today, the CTO works to ensure that NUG’s logistics systems comply with METRC,
California’s new state-mandated track-and-trace system, and develops new technology that evolves to meet the company’s growth.
Smart Industry: Describe the track-and-trace system.
Jessamyn: Not only does NUG’s track-and-trace system follow a cannabis flower or product’s movement through production, but it also records anything that may influence the output of it. This includes environmental recordings, personnel input, plant and product health, compliance paperwork, all daily logistics data and compliance communication with METRC. From designing an ergonomic and efficient system for the user, all the way to providing us with all the necessary data for complete visualization and analysis of the information, track-and-trace is essential for product accountability, quality and purity assurance from seed to sale.
NUG’s track-and-trace system is used by all members of our team, from cultivation to manufacturing, laboratory technicians to our edibles-department staff, all the way up to distribution employees who deliver our products to NUG retail stores and partner companies. We have complete vertical technologic integration at every step of the process.
Smart Industry: What data is collected and how does this information affect business strategy?
Jessamyn: We must be precise in our methods and observant of their outputs. We not only capture as much data as we can through our track-and-trace system, but also use that information to project yields, find areas of opportunities and improve our methods to be faster and more efficient with less risk.
Smart Industry: How is this system evolving as NUG grows?
Jessamyn: It never stops. Every day we find ways to make it better, make it faster, make it smarter. Just as state and local regulations keep changing, so are NUG’s systems and technology. As innovation avenues keep growing, we advance our systems to meet and exceed new industry standards.
Smart Industry: What is unique about the cannabis industry regarding digital initiatives?
Jessamyn: The cannabis industry is such an exciting field. It has a lot of similarities with other industries like craft beer and pharmaceutical, yet at the same time we are all discovering how unique it is. For many years, cannabis and technology were not even in the same conversation. However, it rapidly collided and merged to the point that you need technology to compete and be successful in the industry—you need technology to thrive in cannabis.
Smart Industry: What most excites you about the near future of digital applications in the cannabis industry in the coming years?
Jessamyn: We really saw the cannabis industry transform into an industry that is led by science and technology. I think that as we see technology and data-driven systems integrated into the production of cannabis, we will see the introduction of more specialized, high-quality products as well as improved purity and safety standards in the industry as a whole.
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