By Celia G. Carter, Roshi Co-Founder & CEO
Our reason for being came sooner than expected.
At Roshi, our mission from day one was to apply best practices from years of experience managing FDA-regulated drugs to cannabis and help operators achieve more success, faster. From operations to compliance, our software architecture was built with traceability at its core; with frameworks that can immediately isolate any faulty product ingredients and empower operators to perform product recalls in seconds. The recent vape crisis has presented both a public health and cannabis-industry emergency. The regulatory changes have already begun, and in order to survive what lies ahead, cannabis (and hemp) brands must be proactive in protecting consumers and preserving their brand integrity by adopting new processes and technologies today.
In cannabis, recalls have always happened. They happened behind the scenes, discreetly under the voluntary efforts of dispensary and brand owners that did the right thing and weathered the financial impacts. Significant losses (in both product costs and resource hours) were easier to stomach during the early days of the industry (e.g. Prop 215 days in California) when margins were healthier, and companies were private and owner-operated. Brand integrity was synonymous with the owner’s word. Sadly, those days are numbered.
We are now in a world of publicly traded cannabis companies, with new brands entering the space every day. Consumers, as well as dispensary operators find themselves reliant on the unknown ethics of these (no longer owner-operated) companies, while high-cost marketing, lower price points and a steady supply may sway an otherwise discerning consumer or customer. The CBD market is infiltrated with untested products and the vape crisis has generated new skepticism by consumers around the safety of the products they use. I call attention to the times, not to stir fear, but because it is important that brands (both cannabis and hemp) prepare as customers begin to educate themselves on the products they use. While cannabis lab standards are more stringent than the organic produce we purchase at Whole Foods, consumers lack an understanding of what those lab results mean. If they are not already, consumers will soon be asking questions like where are your ingredients sourced from? What else did you put into the product? Is your cartridge hardware tested and lot tracked? Brands must be prepared to demonstrate clear and documented answers to these questions. The success of this industry is dependent on consumer trust and that trust is built by way of brand quality, transparency, and reliability.
Roshi’s software platform is built specifically for cannabis by a team whose previous technology soared through several intense FDA and EMA audits. Our founding team spent 15+ years designing and building supply chain management software solutions for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies (e.g. Genentech, J&J, Novartis) conducting global clinical trials. Event based triggers and predictive algorithms integrated and automated the end-to-end clinical supply chain all while maintaining full product traceability down to the individual pill level. Built from the ground up, we have brought this same level of rigor to the Roshi platform.
From purchase orders, to manufacturing, extraction, inventory reconciliation, fulfillment and sales, Roshi’s mobile-first modules work together to automate the day-to-day operations, inventory management and METRC compliance for cannabis and hemp brands and distributors. But, most importantly, Roshi brings sophistication to track-and-trace / seed-to-sale traceability software, by empowering operators with a new level of recall capabilities. Operators have a streamlined view of what ingredients and what batches went where with the ability to take immediate action when needed. On Roshi, brands can increase consumer safety with lot based recalls while saving hundreds of thousands of dollars avoiding widespread date range recalls. The days of work spent sifting through invoices and sales orders are eliminated and faulty products can be removed from the shelves within hours. Roshi’s platform is a tool that helps operators both streamline operations and protect their most valuable assets, the consumers.
So while our reason for being came sooner than expected (and under tragic circumstances), the time has come to make what we’re offering known. It is a critical time where consumers (and patients) are beginning to drive expectations around product transparency and quality. Roshi removes previous barriers to product transparency and places the accountability back on the operators to do what’s right.