The standard operating procedure (SOP) is a document used in a variety of industries. Covering how a company performs its tasks, an SOP details all facets of the operation, from the materials used to the steps needed to achieve the end result. In short, it’s the comprehensive document that lays out exactly how the company and its employees should handle their duties.

SOPs are critical components to just about any business. In cannabis and its highly regulated markets, the document’s essential nature is that much more important. An SOP in the extraction and processing space must be more thorough and detailed to ensure that it satisfies all regulations and company goals. 

It is highly suggested that you don’t copy and paste your “industry standard” SOP. With extraction and processing SOP requirements shifting by state and the needs of each business varying, businesses must commit to the costly process that comes with crafting their custom SOP. This cost can come in the form of dollars or sweat equity. In either case, a choice is needed to ensure that a business does all it can to remain state-compliant and trustworthy to its consumers.

Writing an SOP is Labor Intensive

Writing a standard operating procedure for your extraction or processing business will take time, requiring extensive hours revising and scrutinizing both the document and the company’s operations. As such, an immense amount of detail and time must be dedicated to the process. 

Overall, an SOP should lay out why the company performs its methods and describe the roles, materials, equipment, definitions and steps involved with each process. Such thorough detailing goes beyond the processing. A complete SOP will include actions on emergency procedures and any other health and safety regulations–which there are many in the cannabis space. As such, the cannabis space has even more on its list of consideration than another industry would when writing its SOP. 

First, processors and extractors must keep in mind all the usual considerations. That means keeping the goal of the SOP and its intention to clearly define all operations at the forefront of every line written. The SOP must also be simple so it won’t bog down readers or muddle the intended message. It must also be inclusive, considering all possible readers. Make it so everyone on the team can read and understand your SOP. Beyond the basics is a myriad of other tips that are recommendations that just about any industry should consider when creating their document.  

Again, the process becomes that much more arduous for a cannabis brand. The project becomes much more immense for a variety of reasons. With cannabis being a relatively new market, many sectors are still determining what the best SOPs are for their operation. While most have a working idea in place, shifts in processes are much more likely to occur in a nascent space. As such, the evolution of such a document, and maintenance needed to upkeep it, often require frequent revisiting and revising.

The possible intensity of the labor grows for the cannabis space when considering the varying rules across state and provincial lines. Both Canada and the United States have their laws varying to certain degrees, depending on your current location. This is especially true in the U.S., where cannabis remains federally illegal. As such, the laws often shift on the state and municipal levels. 

SOPs From Scratch = Cost-Intensive Processes 

It takes a special kind of writer to strike a balance between such meticulous detail and simple, concise wording required in a standard operating procedure document. This balancing act is not a task worth underestimating. Be it in-house or outsourced, your SOP writer must be up for the role. In-house is an option that may work for a team headed up by a compliance officer or technical writer that can articulate the verbiage. However, unless your team has the skilled writer to strike that needed mark, going in-house could result in lots of hours committed with an incomplete document. 

This massive pitfall is why so many companies choose to outsource the job to a skilled, veteran SOP writer. Be it through a freelancer or firm; these experienced writers are adept at crafting SOPs like a seasoned processor knows how to produce a six-star hash

Such talents come at a premium, however. Most technical writers average an annual salary that can reach or exceed $60,000. On the other hand, freelancers could command an hourly rate totaling $60 per hour or much more depending on the expertise and task at hand. In some cases, employers could hire freelancers for a flat rate, if the two parties agree. In either case, businesses need to be ready to spend some combination of equity and sweat equity to have a proper SOP–and it’s worth every penny. 

Working with Experts in SOPs and More

A cannabis company can’t afford to make mistakes. In such a regulated industry that’s yet to become immensely profitable, nobody has the wiggle room to waste their time or money. Whether creating your standard operating procedure or setting up any facet of the lab, your business requires the expert attention to your team or an outsourced expert brings to the table.

This is where PureCannalabs comes in with our SOP Launch Kits. These pre-made starter SOPs do the vast majority of the heavy lifting for your solventless processing SOP needs, enabling you to make expert derived processes for rosin, ice water hash, and all kinds of special solventless SKUs near instantly. Then, your compliance officer can simply tailor them to your specific lab’s needs and regulatory requirements.

If you’re looking to jumpstart your SOP process, or need assistance making solventless SKUs that command premium prices, PureCannalabs has the tools you need. Our SOP Launch Kits cover all aspects of each category, including set up, how to complete the SKUs, all of the intricacies of them, post processing, and more. When you break down the cost of writing an SOP for any of your solventless processes from scratch, you’ll quickly realize that at only $1,250 per (with discounts for bundled or multiple SOP purchases) you’re saving an enormous amount of money with our SOP packages.

Depending on your operation, team and goals, your extraction and processing SOPs may be better suited for an in-house our outside hand. While some groups have the time and specific talent to pull it off, most are better off going with an expert with years of SOP writing experience under their belt. PureCannalabs has just those skilled experts ready to provide the assistance your operation needs. 

Contact us today to get started with your own SOP project!