Staying Consistent with Naming Your Cannabis Inventory

April 23, 2024
April 15, 2024
| Updated
April 15, 2024

Have you ever found yourself looking for your favorite pair of socks among a pile of cluttered stuff? It’s pretty frustrating when you can’t find it, it can almost make you go crazy!

Imagine it's your first day at a new job, and you really need your lucky socks! 

From here your day can go one of three ways:

  • You waste time trying to find your lucky pair of socks, you find them buried at the bottom of your messy dresser, and are late for work.
  • You wear unlucky socks by accident, hit traffic the entire way to work, and are fired on your first day.
  • You don't wear socks that day, and your first day at work turns into an uncomfortable, sweaty-shoe experience.

Okay, maybe we’re exaggerating a bit. This metaphor reflects a situation that seems very insignificant but could greatly affect your routine and even impact other aspects of your life.  The same thing applies for cannabis operators with messy inventory tracking. It makes it hard to find exactly what you need.

This can harm your operations in many ways. Healthy cannabis inventory management and naming conventions are crucial for any business within this industry. 

By properly naming your cannabis inventory, you can keep your data clean, save time, and avoid human errors.

Are you having a hard time standardizing your cannabis naming conventions? You've come to the right place! This guide to seed-to-sale naming conventions explores the best practices for staying consistent with your cannabis inventory.

Chicka-chicka Naming Inventory

Why Is It Important to Keep Cannabis Inventory Consistent?

Consistency is essential in the world of cannabis inventory management. It can make or break any business.

The metaphor of the lost pair of socks mentioned at the beginning of this blog post is a good example of what could happen if your inventory is messy. An unorganized inventory can have serious consequences.

If you don't keep your cannabis inventory consistent and organized, it'll be difficult to trust your data. The more discrepancies there are in your data, the less reliable your inventory will be, which can affect costs, production processes, reporting, and compliance.

In contrast, a clean and consistent cannabis inventory can help:

  • Keep your team aligned across multiple locations and license types, ensuring each party has access to the same information and all team members are on the same page regarding processes
  • Make it easier to consolidate inventory and cannabis cost reports for specific items, which can help you improve your logistics, impacting your business's profitability and ability to fulfill orders to ensure customer satisfaction
  • Reduce communication errors to mitigate risks that can harm your operations, such as delays, stockouts, overstocking, waste, and customer dissatisfaction
  • Make compliance easier, as you’ll have no problems ensuring that the products, packages, or quantities you have reported on Metrc match your physical inventory

How Can You Keep Your Cannabis Inventory Consistent?

Before you dive into how to keep your cannabis inventory consistent, let’s define a term that will play a key role in how you manage this: File Naming Convention (FNC).

What Is a Naming Convention?

The term “File Naming Convention” defines how you name and label products, but it’s a standardized method that considers other aspects, such as what each product is and its relationship to other items.

To keep your cannabis inventory consistent, you have to name all your products in a specific and organized way. Consistency in FNCs will make items easier to find, audit, or sell.

A Real-World Example of Bad Inventory Naming Conventions

You may be wondering why it’s so important to ensure that naming conventions are consistent. At the end of the day, they're just names. You just have to put some letters and numbers together, and that's it, right?

Well, the truth is that you need to organize the necessary information in the correct way. This is essential for healthy cannabis inventory management.

Let's go over an example of what bad inventory naming conventions look like:

  • Zkittles ⅛
  • Zkittles 3.5g
  • Zkittles - 3.5g Jar

Suppose you have a cannabis strain named “Zkittles.” You grow it and harvest the flowers. Easy peasy! But now, you want to sell such flowers. Most stores sell cannabis flowers in 3.5g packets, which are individually known as “an eight” (about 1/8th of one ounce of cannabis).

Since it’s in charge of growing and packaging the flowers, your cannabis cultivation facility calls that package “Zkittles ⅛” in the inventory system. However, once delivered to the distribution facility, the inventory manager will call it “Zkittles 3.5g.”

After that, the cannabis distribution facility must deliver the package to your retail store and sell it to other retailers. However, this isn't the last change. When your company intakes the retail inventory, it’s named “Zkittles - 3.5g Jar.”

Although the same product passed through three locations, each set a different name in their inventory system. This will definitely make a mess, potentially causing communication errors and difficulties when reporting or staying compliant.

The Best Way to Name Your Cannabis Inventory

Naming cannabis products in your inventory now seems more challenging, huh? Don't panic! As a cannabis business operator, you can create consistency in your inventory naming conventions by following these guidelines:

Standard Naming Convention


These are some good examples of inventory naming conventions:

  • Packaging | 12oz | cans
  • Packaging | Beverage Bottle | 1L
  • Packaging | Edible Pack
  • Packaging | Jars | ⅛ | 19 DRAM
  • Packaging | Joint Tube | Green
  • Packaging | Vape Cartridge | CCell

Cannabis Inventory Naming Best Practices

Standardizing your cannabis inventory naming conventions can take time. However, you can make this process easier by following these best practices:

  • Avoid using symbols ($#@!) in your cannabis naming conventions, as they can mess up your raw data file and make it more difficult to search your product catalog.
  • If you need to use symbols, use dashes (-) or the pipe symbol (|). This will help you subdivide inventory and make things more specific. Additionally, they’ll facilitate Microsoft Excel export and searchability.
  • When creating a cannabis inventory naming convention, always go from the most general to the most specific information from left to right.
  • Keep the naming convention simple and short, especially if you're in a state where you must print the name on the exit labels, as you must make sure the name fits into that space.
  • Avoid using all caps or all lowercase.
  • Although you should keep naming conventions short, be careful with abbreviations, as they're easy to confuse and many cannabis products have similar names.
  • Choose a single format and be consistent if you choose to abbreviate measurements.

Managing Cannabis Inventory with Software

Now that you know the best practices for naming your inventory conventions, what's the next step?

As mentioned before, accurate seed-to-sale cannabis inventory management is essential to streamline your operations and increase your business's profitability.

To achieve the best possible results, you need to combine consistent naming conventions with a solid inventory management method. However, old-school tools no longer meet the demands of today's cannabis businesses.

How can you make sure your inventory is properly managed and overcome the obstacles that may affect this task? Using cannabis inventory management software could be the best way to go!

By using comprehensive cannabis inventory management software, you can enjoy several benefits, whether you’re a distributor, a processor, or a cultivator. With these solutions, keeping your data up to date will be a piece of cake (a mouth-watering cannabis-infused cake, of course).

If you manage your inventory with a seed-to-sale software solution, staying consistent will be easier, which means you can do the following:

  • Trust your data, as you’ll know that all the information you collect will be clean and accurate
  • Save time, as you won't have to spend hours and hours trying to figure out how much stock you really have of a product or which item is which
  • Mitigate human errors and improve inventory because standardizing names will make it easier to verify every product
  • Make sure reports are accurate since you'll know the data that goes into them is clean and reliable
  • Ensure your cannabis product catalog is correct at all times and you have accurate information on quantities and costs
  • Estimate whether you're selling products at the correct price by collecting accurate inventory and cost information
  • Support escalation and expansion since it'll be easier to manage inventory and catalogs if you add more locations
  • Get employees onboard in less time because if you're consistent in naming your products, it'll be easier to help new team members understand your operations
Proper Cannabis Inventory Management

How Distru Can Help You

Staying consistent with naming cannabis inventory requires time and effort, but it’s the best thing you can do to save yourself the headache and all the issues that come with inventory discrepancies.

Luckily, some tools can make it easier to name your inventory and keep it organized, including Distru!

Our cannabis inventory management software will function as a central hub where you can standardize your cannabis product naming conventions and make sure your inventories are synchronized. We also integrate with major cannabis POS systems in order to help streamline naming conventions during your retail inventory intake process.

Do you want to learn more about our all-in-one solution for cannabis inventory management? Book a demo today!

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