Marijuana Business Magazine January 2019

Marijuana Business Magazine | January 2019 76 Navigating New Regs and Seasonal Swings CHALLENGES: Seasonal sales numbers and new regulations make inventory management challenging for product manufacturers. Wana Brands sees a 20% sales swing between slow and busy seasons, said company CEO Nancy Whiteman. New regulations can be tricky to navigate, too. “You could be humming along, and due to regulatory changes, you might have to change a process like packaging, labeling or testing,”Whiteman said. “You might have to throw out and reorder packaging and could get backlogged on that.” SOLUTIONS: To plan for sales spikes, use slow seasons—when tourism dips in late September to the holiday season, and April to June in Colorado—to replenish your backstock so you have it available during busy seasons, such as holidays. Hiring temporary employees to get you through busy seasons is an option. Ditto for selectively choosing to not refill positions as they’re vacated during slow seasons, Whiteman said. As far as regulatory changes, track and be aware of what’s in the pipeline. You can do this by joining a trade association or having an in-house compliance officer who monitors state regulations. Understand time frames for regulatory shifts that might affect your manufacturing processes and inventory. Manage your packaging inventory as tightly as possible, Whiteman said, because changes in packaging and labeling are common. “Part of the skill of managing inventory is knowing what you’re managing to and being very clear about that,”Whitman said. “As a manufacturer, you have to be thinking several months in advance and have a solution ready to go.” EXPERT ADVICE: Closely monitor week-over-week sales changes for as many years as possible, so you can see what the patterns are in seasonality as well as big holiday weekends, Whiteman said. And make sure your sales team is aligned with your production team: It is critical to have sales and production closely aligned on any changes that might affect manufacturing and inventory management. If a dispensary chain is planning a big product promotion, for example, you must be sure you can fill the order. Stock Taking WANA BRANDS Boulder, Colorado Multistate infused product manufacturer Founded in 2010 Managing packaging inventory as tightly as possible will help avoid having to reorder in the event of regulation changes. Courtesy Photo Nancy Whiteman is CEO of Wana Brands in Colorado. Courtesy Photo Months with slow retail sales are the perfect time to replenish backstock and brainstorm new products. Courtesy Photo