CANNABIS… What Scales Do You Need for Production, Distributing, or Selling?

Scales and Balances for the Cannabis Industry

As more states legalize marijuana for medical and/or recreational use, each part of the industry, from growers to dispensaries, must learn how to handle the additional focus and attention along the cannabis plant’s journey from planting the seed to reaching the actual consumer.

A big part of that process is actually weighing the product. With the high price tag per ounce attached to medical marijuana, it’s necessary to ensure that everyone is getting the correct amount.

Typical Cannabis Distribution Chain

Cultivate the plant and sometimes process the flower themselves but often sell the raw material to a processor, which also acts as a wholesaler.

Trim, dry and cure the plants to ready them for manufacture into consumer-ready products.

Incorporate the processed material into products.

Sell the finished product to patients and consumers.

At each level where consumer-destined cannabis is handled, the high-precision requirements for weighing are the same. Medical laboratories operate outside of the consumer-focused supply chain, but concentrate their efforts on researching all components of the cannabis plant to find their effects on the human body.

Cultivation and Harvest of Marijuana

Inventory management and profitability start at the growing facility. At this point counter top bench scales, floor scales, and pallet jack scales allow growers to capture the material handling weights at the field site, indoor growing facility, packaging plant or anywhere weight documentation is needed for cannabis logistics. Great for repetitive tasks while harvesting, loading and packing.

Processing and Extracting Cannabis

Our line of bench scales and check weighing scales are great for all the tasks of cannabis and hemp processing environments, including sanitary handling and consumer ready retail packaging. Our line of industrial scales are built well and priced right and best of all, can be custom ordered for an exact fit in just about any location and hold up to extreme cleaning procedures.

rice lake 1280

Cannabis processing, batching and automated production are taken a step further with our selection of Rice Lake 1280 digital weight indicators. Weight indicators perform a range of functions from batching to simple weight displaying to the most complex custom programming, communications and remote batch queuing. We can provide complete weighing and process control solutions for any operation from bulk batching to featherweight designer-strain derivatives.

What Kind of Scales are Required for Selling Medical Cannabis Inside Retail Shops & Dispensaries?

According to what we are hearing, in many states, scales and balances used for selling cannabis to consumers need to be NTEP Class II, meaning they must display results from 1 mg to 50 mg (0.05g) and have 10,000 – 100,000 divisions, or better. (For reference, Class I units have more than 100,000 divisions.)  We suggest contacting your state weighing and measures department to determine what state and local requirements you will have to comply with.

In selling to the public, the balances must be NTEP certified legal-for-trade. This means the scale has been approved by NCWM and has a certificate of conformance number (CoC#) and is legally approved in the U.S. for buying or selling goods by weight.

Our lineup of CAS, Brecknell, Detecto, and Rice Lake retail scales are ideal for the point of sale (POS) or retail packaging counters in cannabis storefronts and dispensaries. Legal for Trade scales allow legal selling of products by weight from the scale, according to NTEP Certification for the highest level of accuracy in weight-based transactions.

Rice Lake’s retail scales have data communicating options suitable for tracking, reporting and inventory management, and select models offer additional weight displays for transparency and customer confidence.

adam equinox analytical balance

Because dispensaries sell cannabis products in small amounts, readability of 0.01g is ideal to have. Medical laboratories often have a little more tolerance in terms of requirements since they don’t actually sell cannabis, but they often utilize balances with readability in the neighborhood of  0.0001g. For something like that, see the Adam Equipment Equinox Analytical Balance

As with other applications – such as biopharmaceuticals or jewelry – the small amounts of cannabis sold in most transactions require a high degree of readability to protect both the buyer and seller. Popular NTEP approved weed scales available include the Adam Equipment Highland balance along with the Ohaus SJX1502N/E, Intelligent Vibra ALE-NC balance and A&D EK series of precision balances.

legal for trade ale-nc dispensary scale

To satisfy requirements for selling cannabis derivatives, edibles and topicals by weight, our selection of Rice Lake laboratory balances are ideal for the cannabis industry and can weigh derivatives precisely to 0.001 gram. Scale data connectivity for labeling and tracking compliance is available with RS-232, Bluetooth or USB port.

We hope this entry what scales do you need for production, distributing, or selling cannabis has helped you better understand this industry. We do recommend you contact your state weighing and measurements office to determine exactly what your particular requirements are because they can differ from state to state. If you need some assistance purchasing your industrial weighing equipment, please contact us (919) 776-7737.