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Last updated: September 25, 2020

cannabis dispensary high density storage shelvingIn recent years, we've seen a considerable amount of changes in the laws regarding cannabis distribution as more states have legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational use. However, federal regulations add some red tape to the situation. Due to each state's varying laws, cannabis growers are moving to indoor operations and need storage solutions.

Making this move allows growers to maintain greater control while simultaneously having better security measures in place. However, these dispensaries face many challenges, including incorporating adequate dispensary storage systems.

Creating a Natural Flow

The sales floor should have a natural flow that leads to the facility's break area and loading dock in the rear. The break area and loading dock area should have easy access to the facility's storage and marijuana vault areas. Floor plans must also include space for an office, be it a mobile office in the storage warehouse or one right off the sales floor.

In this guide, dispensary owners and growers will learn more about the importance of marijuana storage, as well as available options to help you decide what's best for your dispensary.

The Importance of Marijuana Storage Solutions

Cannabis dispensaries stock their shelves with various products, including gel caps, gummies, oils, tinctures, topical creams, and other items. That means dispensaries must look at their floor plans for not only merchandising purposes but also storage capabilities.

The best way to preserve the potency for cannabis and Cannabidiol (CBD) is adequate storage. If you need marijuana storage for an extended timeframe, proper storage is critical. As the industry continues growing across the country, dispensaries need storage solutions that meet their humidity and temperature requirements.

Additional needs include the following:

Keeping Track of Inventory

There's a delicate balancing act when it comes to running a dispensary. First, staff must ensure clients receive fast and friendly service. Secondly, and probably most importantly, they must also keep meticulous records. This record-keeping process must comply with local regulations and state laws. Ensuring a well-organized system for product dispensing and intake ensures a positive customer experience. It also helps ensure compliance while simultaneously simplifying inventory control.

A Focus on Organization

It's challenging to manage disorganized products, which are more likely to experience damage, expire, or get stolen. When inventory is lost, that causes a direct hit on the cannabis dispensary's bottom line. That's why it's essential to have well-planned dispensary storage systems in place.

Maximize Profits With Optimal Product Flow

Dispensaries must optimize product flow from the receiving area to the sales floor. It's possible to maximize profits and protect inventory when implementing well-planned dispensary storage solutions. By integrating these storage solutions with an existing inventory control system, it's possible to account for every gram of cannabis the dispensary receives and sells to clients.

Your Guide to Dispensary Storage Systems

Dispensary storage systems must consider 4 things:

  • Airflow
  • Heat
  • Humidity
  • Light

Each can impact quality.  If your marijuana plants have too much light, it results in the degradation of the product. Direct sunlight is the biggest culprit, but indirect sunlight can also cause potency loss. That's why dispensary storage solutions need to be light-proof. That way, you can preserve your cannabis.

High-Density Shelving or Racks

cannabis dispensary storage grow system rolling racksA notable benefit of using high-density shelving or racks is that you can customize them according to your dispensary's needs. No matter if you need to store equipment or plant parts, metal shelving is an ideal solution.

The benefits of incorporating high-density shelving or racks include:

  • Code compliance
  • Durable and reliable systems
  • Ergonomics
  • Higher yields
  • Phased growing approaches
  • Space optimization

Incorporating metal shelving helps increase your vertical storage capacity. Because no two cannabis businesses are the same, you can adjust the shelves according to your business needs. You may also notice an increase in productivity because it's easier to see what's on the shelves.

The use of metal shelving also protects the cannabis plant's delicate parts and keeps them off the floor. For businesses that are looking for a long-term storage solution, metal shelving can be a cost-effective option. Not only is this solution easy to assemble, but they're also mobile.

Wire Cages

DEA cannabis dispensary storage wire cagesThe Drug Enforcement Administration's Diversion Control Division outlines controlled substances' physical security under Title 21 CFR Section 1301.72-1301.76. Meeting those guidelines means that cannabis dispensaries and marijuana cultivators must store their products in wire cages.

Using wire partition cages allow for air circulation, thus preventing spoilage. Each of these wire cages has doors regulating access. That regulated access ensures the marijuana storage has proper handling and other safeguards.

There are several features dispensaries and growers should look for in wire cage storage:

  • 10-gauge wire mesh ceiling panels and walls
  • Electronic locks, magnetic locks, push bars, and other locking systems
  • Flush to the floor for maximum security
  • Heavy-duty anchors and hardware 
  • Prevent tampering by ensuring hardware is only accessible from the cage's interior
  • Self-closing and/or self-locking doors

The openness of wire cages helps maintain the optimal growing and storage conditions for cannabis. In the event of a fire, this open-wire construction also ensures sprinklers have optimal access. There's no need to sacrifice security when using wire cages to maximize visibility.

Mezzanines

mezzanine dispensary storage systemsUse an equipment platform, also referred to as mezzanines, to utilize your facility's unused vertical space. Maximize your storage by installing mezzanines in areas available in high ceilings. Instead of performing building renovations, opt for this cost-effective semi-permanent steel solution.

There are several benefits to using mezzanines:

  • Code compliance
  • Durability
  • Ergonomics improvement
  • Higher yields
  • Phased installation
  • Space optimization

Cannabis growing companies need heavy-duty storage. These modular storage systems mount to carriages that move along rails. Users can tend to plants in individual aisles by pushing a button or using mechanically-assist handles.

You can find mezzanines available in four different types:

  • Freestanding: Keep your product clean and prevent it from touching the floor.
  • Modular office supported mezzanine: These systems support office spaces that need storage solutions and workspaces combined.
  • Shelving supported mezzanines: With shelves incorporated, this solution makes the space underneath the mezzanine usable storage space.
  • Stainless steel platform: Because cannabis is a consumable product, it's good to choose food-grade stainless steel storage solutions.

Using mezzanine storage also helps prevent wasted space while simultaneously improving the grow operation's airflow. These pallets also make it easier for staff to access plants and ensure the light exposure is optimal for bud formation.

Modular Cleanrooms or Offices

modular office cleanroom cannabis dispensaryImplementing modular offices is a cost-effective way to maximizing storage space in warehouses. Use your modular office or cleanroom as a grow room, meeting space, or showroom. Capitalize on your existing vertical storage by constructing a modular office inside your warehouse.

There are four primary benefits of incorporating modular offices or cleanrooms in your business:

  • Incorporating cost-effective solutions assists technology automation, which increases yield.
  • State law and local regulatory compliance are not complicated.
  • There's no need to halt production because you're building your facility in phases.
  • Your business expands more easily to meet the evolving needs of your grow operation.

In the long run, modular offices and cleanrooms are going to be the most cost-effective solution. You can change any panel to a door or window based on your needs at any time. Modular offices and clean rooms are also easy to relocate.

Businesses should check with their state and local authorities to see if you need a permit before the modular construction process begins. If you need a permit, request stamped engineered drawings. You can find aluminum and steel options depending on the application you need.

Contact Us to Learn More about Dispensary Storage Systems

Ensuring the best storage solutions are in place is critical for running a successful dispensary. Southwest Solutions Group® provides the highest quality dispensary storage systems. No matter if you need a modular solution, wire racks, or dispensary vaults, our specialists are ready to help meet your needs. Contact us at 1-800-803-1083 or visit contact us for more information.

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