A Quick Guide to Creating Your Dispensary Standard Operating Procedures PDF (SOP)

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Dispensary Standard

Though it may be the last thing on a dispensary owner’s mind, creating a dispensary standard operating procedures PDF (SOP) can transform your business. It can lay the foundations for long-term growth, within your team and your customer base. 

The very process of creating an SOP PDF will help you to systematically analyze and organize your operations. The best part? As your dispensary grows, you will have a framework to meet the challenges that inevitably arise. 

Create Trust By Implementing A Dispensary Standard Operating Procedures PDF 

This may seem like common sense, but if you create an SOP, always follow up. If you disperse an SOP PDF to your team but never follow-through on progress and feedback, it can damage their trust in your leadership. This is because your team members want to know that they can rely on consistently implemented procedures and expectations.

Think of the SOP as a script that everyone follows. Responsibilities in the dispensaries are much more defined, eliminating the need for improvisation and gaps in service. Production and performance can only be completed successfully if the actions are done the same way each time.

Outline Performance Metrics for Success 

If an SOP is supposed to create efficiency, then you want to ensure that performance metrics are actually being measured and improving. After all, you can’t manage a process if you don’t understand how it’s currently performing. Instead of arbitrarily coming up with performance metrics, analyze and measure your current workflows.

If restocking products currently takes an hour, is there a way to optimize the process? How and when should cannabis plants be transplanted? Is there a labor hours or cost expectation to the task? There are just some of the things to consider when taking a look at effectiveness in operations.

Keep It Simple By Avoiding Over-Explanation

When creating a dispensary standard operating procedures PDF, it might be tempting to over-explain everything. The purpose of an SOP is to outline how things are done, and not necessarily why they are done, though this can be helpful to your team as well! 

An SOP should make the onboarding process for a new employee as quick and efficient as possible. You can achieve this by creating an SOP that details how they can successfully complete tasks. Of course, if they ask why something is done a certain way, you can always explain it in person, but keep the purpose of an SOP focused on job responsibilities.

Empower Grow Room Employees By Focusing on Variable Control

In any business, there are countless variables that can change. When it comes to grow rooms, there are many variables that are not easily controlled. Fortunately, there are still some ways that you can limit these variables and make the outcome more predictable. 

Cannabis Grow Room

For example, you can control how much water the cannabis plants receive and how often they receive it. You can constrain these variables by creating a process for watering plants, trimming leaves, fertilization, etc. in your dispensary’s SOP. 

Consult with an Expert to Craft Your SOPs

Your SOP is only as good as your actual process and knowledge. If you aren’t an expert in grow operations, then don’t be afraid to reach out to upper management or an outside consultant to help you create operating practices for cultivation. 

In all dispensary operations, not just grow operations, it’s important to include all levels of management in the process. This helps to ensure that 1.) your processes outlined in the SOP are accurate, and 2.) that expectations from management are in unison and more easily understood by the rest of the team.

Embed Compliance Into the SOP Itself

No one likes to memorize rules. Many dispensaries have learned the hard way that asking team members to memorize regulations simply doesn’t work. For this reason, it’s highly recommended to add compliance factors within your SOP, so they can be easily referenced “when in doubt”. 

Some dispensaries have created a completely separate SOP that covers compliance. However, this can be confusing and easy to overlook.

By placing action steps in the SOP that fulfill compliance requirements, then you can increase protection for your dispensary. For example, include an action step that ensures that cannabis inventory is being tracked and monitored to prevent diversion to the wrong place.

Secondly, you may consider adding a reference section that includes easy-to-find legal terms and regulation files. These can also be annotated within the workflow processes to ensure that they are being referenced properly by the entirety of the team. 

Always Ask for Feedback and Prepare for Updates

Even though the cannabis industry is highly regulated, your team members don’t want to feel like they’re walking on eggshells every time they come into work. Once you’ve dispersed your dispensary standard operating procedures to the team, it’s important to be completely open to any feedback that may come your way.

Also, certain aspects of the business may change or evolve over time. When this happens, be prepared to update your SOPs to avoid any unwanted bumps or surprises in operations. 

Plus, the ability and willingness to accept feedback will strengthen your morale overall and encourage a team-building atmosphere. Everyone will feel like they’re truly on the same page to help your dispensary (and the cannabis industry as a whole) succeed.

The Power Is Your People

Only your team knows your business operations best. Every day, team members who are on the frontlines and in the grow room witness any and all issues that are present in your workflows. They are the first to see operations unfold, so they have an invaluable perspective that should never be ignored. 

It’s important to remember that without your employees, the customer experience would not exist. By putting your employees first in creating an SOP, you can maximize profits and begin to encourage an innovative and positive environment for your team.