Voter approval of medical cannabis is quietly sparking a “green rush” in Missouri and the state’s industry is rapidly taking shape. If you’re looking to get involved in the production or manufacturing side of the business, you need to find a warehouse fast. Mike Markham, Commenco’s Director of Technology Solutions, says there’s no time to waste.

Finding Warehouse Space

“There’s going to be a premium on space. That’s the first big thing to hit.”

Markham’s career happens to include experience in Colorado during the rise of that state’s cannabis industry. He says competition for existing warehouses and new spaces exploded in the early days.

“Consider that about half of the cannabis grown in Colorado is grown indoors and of course it’s stored indoors. That gives you an idea of the amount of warehouse space we’re talking about.”

Markham is a wealth of information and guidance for Commenco clients operating in several industries. His team specializes in integrating all the right hardware with software systems and the internet for a comprehensive warehouse inventory and security solution.

“We offer a smarter approach to ala carte hardware purchases by identifying what’s right for your operation at the outset and effectively connecting it with compatible software, including the supporting wireless infrastructure. We also maintain your system so you don’t have to worry about it after installation.”

Decades of communications technology experience including maintaining the backbone of Greater Kansas City’s 911 emergency system, and police and fire systems, makes Commenco a powerful partner as the cannabis industry starts to come online in Missouri.

Compliance and Regulations

“This is not something to stumble into,” says Markham. “Cannabis industry rules and regulations will be specific and strict, and all of it is still mostly up in the air at this point. Your warehouse operation’s technical design and processes will need to match those requirements perfectly. You don’t want to dive in and later discover the need to retrofit solutions. That can be difficult and expensive, and the reality is you might be out of the game at that point.”

As a controlled substance with healthcare applications, cannabis will be a sticky business in Missouri from seed to sale. Not every business that applies to participate in the industry will be approved. Everything will be closely watched by state regulators who will prefer operations with exceptional transparency and control. Markham says Commenco’s work in other heavily regulated industries offers valuable experience.

“We’ve helped clients in munitions, healthcare, food service and other sensitive environments requiring special security and reporting responsibilities. So we can help you anticipate what’s ahead with cannabis in Missouri and guide your planning.”

Markham expects that Commenco’s cannabis clients will include manufacturers, distributors, third-party warehouse companies and anyone else involved in the warehouse space. Manufacturers and distributors commonly contract warehouse companies to handle all warehouse operations from start to finish, rather than creating the facilities and operations from the ground up. Like Commenco, third-party warehouse companies also have expertise in meeting tough regulations.

Inventory Control

The core of Commenco’s total warehouse solution is inventory control. Commenco can equip your operation with exactly what’s needed from mobile computers, barcode scanners and radio-frequency identification trackers (RFID) to label printers that all feed into your inventory management system.

“We enable you to make the most of your resources,” says Markham. “We understand that optimizing your warehouse space is crucial.”

Security

On the security side, Commenco is well known for customized solutions involving a wide array of hardware ranging from entry access and detection to two-way radios and surveillance cameras. Security will be an especially high priority in Missouri’s cannabis industry because modern banking support of cannabis businesses is yet to gain federal protection. Cannabis businesses across the country are largely cash only, which remains an incredibly difficult, risky and even dangerous fact of life.

Markham says verification is another layer that makes security more than stopping intruders and ensuring the safe transport of money.

“Security hardware can prove that people are where they are supposed to be, when they are supposed to be there, which offers even more control and can be a benefit for regulators and insurers.”

The whole package from inventory tracking to security is supported by wireless infrastructure that Commenco customizes based on warehouse design. Markham says every warehouse is different and requires expert analysis.

“There are many different levels of complexity for warehouses and it’s our job to create an infrastructure that supports all the tools and people involved. That’s what we’re known for and why our clients and partners rely on our experience and expertise.”

Not every business will make it in Missouri’s cannabis industry. Markham says a ‘smart warehouse’ operation powered by the right technology will have a critical advantage.

“A complete, highly-integrated communication solution is a priority if you’re competing to win.”


Commenco is your trusted source of warehouse communication technology information as the cannabis industry evolves in Missouri.

Learn more about technology solutions for Cannabis Operations