Tips to Create Your Own Cannabis SOP Template

March 20, 2021 Cannabis Business, Entrepreneurs

You need a clean and actionable cannabis SOP template. But where to start?

During a survey of 246 manufacturing professionals, they found that seventy-six percent of the respondents have an SOP in place, with 77 percent claiming they’ve been using an SOP for at least a year.

While this survey wasn’t directly relating to the cannabis industry, it shows the importance of SOPs. That’s why we’ve created this list of tips to make it easy to create your own template for cannabis SOPs.

Once you put your template together, you and your team can work together to develop a well-thought-out SOP strategy. This strategy will guide you towards building a more efficient – and more profitable – business operating in the cannabis sector.

Without further ado, let’s discuss several steps to guide you as you make a cannabis SOP template.

Consider What Your Cannabis Standard Operating Procedure Template Should Include

Cannabis businesses usually have a plethora of moving parts. Ultimately, your standard operating procedures will depend on the line of work your business fulfills.

Cannabis cultivation SOPs will differ from cannabis production SOPs, just as cannabis storage SOPs aren’t the same as cannabis testing SOPs. As you make your template, you’ll base your SOPs for cannabis on your business’s specific need for processes.

You’ll first consider which processes you can standardize.

Do you have some aspect of your business that should be done a certain way? Perhaps there’s a proven method to get a process completed more efficiently or safely.

Then, you’ll think about why you want to standardize the process.

Will standardizing this process save time? Will it save money? Is there a specific process that’s better than all others?

For instance, if you were trying to create an SOP template for cannabis cultivation, you’d think about what it takes to grow and harvest your product.

There could be a specific fertilizer that gives you the best results. Or maybe you’ve found that watering a certain number of times per day minimizes your risk of moldy buds.

Here are some of the spaces you might include in a cannabis cultivation SOP template:

  • Growth medium you’ll use
  • Lighting schedules for each strain
  • Temperature and humidity controls
  • Pruning and defoliation method and frequency
  • How often and how much to water your plants
  • Nutrient formulas and guidance for application
  • How to handle common problems (nutrient deficiency, pathogens, pests, etc.)

Your needs will vary depending on the area of cannabis your business operates. But as you can see, creating your cannabis SOP template requires some consideration.

Think About Who Will Use Your Cannabis SOP Template

Your cannabis SOP template should act as a guide. Think of this as a “fill in the blank” standard operating procedure. But think about who will contribute to creating the final SOPs.

You likely have a team or manager that will use your template to create these SOPs. Consider their perspective and the best way to show them which processes you’d like to standardize.

If you’re too technical or in-depth with your descriptions, you could confuse your team. This is problematic as it’s counterproductive to the goal of creating a template for cannabis SOPs. The goal here is to ensure your team understands what processes you’d like to cover.

Your cannabis SOP template should provide a framework to write out the SOPs. Staff should find following your template easy, filling in the processes as necessary to create your custom list of cannabis SOPs.

The key here is to ensure all of your employees will understand what you’re trying to document.

You’re likely going to have your frontline employees contribute to the finished SOPs. With these documents generally demanding outlines of their daily tasks, it’s essential to include them by wording your cannabis SOP template in a way they’ll understand.

Keep in mind that if you have a highly technical procedure you plan to have your staff outline, you’ll likely have to collaborate with your team to ensure everything is as accurate as possible. To avoid the need for constant stop-and-go to explain as you write your SOPs, make sure you use simple wording that’s easy to follow. Incorporate this practice while creating your SOPs, as well.

Think Ahead and Analyze Your Procedures

As you’re making your template, assess the procedures you plan to use the template to create. Consider the benchmarks that you and your team will use to explain every aspect of each process clearly.

For example, if you’re running a dispensary, you’ll need to consider your inventory accounting procedure. Think about what your team must use to maintain and monitor your inventory.

What contributes to their successful completion of tracking your cannabis product inventory? 

Which variables will need to be taken into consideration as you’re creating your SOPs?

What processes can become more efficient by creating an SOP?

Think about what your team needs to create procedures for and how this documentation could make your business more effective and efficient. This could involve analyzing the schedule and order in which your team completes actions, as well.

Format Your Cannabis SOP Template for a Clean Aesthetic

Simplicity is essential in your cannabis SOPs, and your SOP template should act as an easy-to-follow guide for you and your team. Formatting will play a crucial role in keeping your SOPs organized, and prioritizing the procedures.

Here is a sample of how you can format your cannabis SOP templates:

  • __________ Standard Operating Procedure
    • Title of the procedure (e.g., Growing, Harvesting, Inventory Management)
  • Executing Person, Role, or Position
    • (e.g., Manager, Inventory Specialist, Budtender, Buyer)
  • Date & Supervisor’s signature
  • Purpose
    • Why are you outlining this process? What do you hope to accomplish?
  • Definitions
    • Define technical terms you’ll use in these instructions for easy understanding.
  • Procedure
    • This is where you’ll explain how the executing individual should complete the process.
  • Step-by-Step Instructions
    • This is where you’ll provide the executing person with easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions to get the job done.

While you might want to include more information depending on the process, this is a simple template that you can customize as necessary. Feel free to use this template to get started on your own custom cannabis SOP template.


Is your business involved in handling cannabis inventory? Make sure to give “Cannabis Inventory Management Tips to Stay Compliant” a read! This article discusses some crucial tips you’ll want to know as you’re developing your SOPs.

____Once we release “Cannabis SOPs & Compliance to Optimize Your Success”______

For more information on cannabis SOPs and compliance, make sure to check out our in-depth guide here