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What Is Six Sigma & How Can Cannabis Companies Use It?

Updated: May 6

No, Six Sigma isn’t the name of the newest superhero group from the latest franchise blockbuster. In fact, most people don’t know what exactly Six Sigma is or only have heard of the term in passing. Unfortunately for them, they have not discovered the value of Six Sigma and how this methodology can lead to higher productivity, an increase to the bottom line, and improve production quality and customer satisfaction.

With markets only growing more fierce as the years pass, especially in the cannabis industry, it’s crucial to find ways to edge out the competition. A Six Sigma evaluation can make the difference between rising above the rest or getting lost in the crowd. Here’s what you need to know about Six Sigma and how it can help your cannabis business.

What is Six Sigma?

The concept of Six Sigma is used by companies to improve operations and supply chains. It finds ways to create greater efficiencies in operations and eliminate waste, whether that’s physical waste or abstract waste, like the misuse of time.

The ultimate goal of Six Sigma is to achieve total consistency and predictability. Through these techniques, companies find themselves asking, “What is the most efficient way to get from point A to point B?”

elevator bottons with the number six lit up in red

How Does Six Sigma Work for Dispensaries?

Researching and Analyzing

The path towards a more efficient workplace starts with research. A Six Sigma certified consultant is brought in by a company for a business assessment. While there, they will spend a period of time observing the way operations are done. This consultant will watch everything, from the customer check in all the way to check out, with the goal of answering: What things are being done that don’t need to be done?

These consultants collect data, then in an assessment, they identify points where there can be more efficiency to eliminate points of waste. For example, if they note the cashier has to click on four different screens to complete a single transaction, it opens the door to improve operations.


Based on the assessment, the consultant will categorize the collected qualitative information and turn that into a set of data points. The end result will be a report for the client about what areas of operations are an issue and suggest which could be fixed to help increase profitability and efficiency.

Back to the earlier example: If a cashier has to click on four different screens to complete a customer’s transaction, the consultant might suggest cutting down screen time to 1-2 clicks, or ask why multiple screens are needed in the first place. The goal is to create a quicker and more efficient process.

With this newfound information, the company now has a greater scope on their business processes and the tools to improve.

When Is Six Sigma Needed in Cannabis Businesses?

When Things Could Be Better

Sometimes companies know they aren’t doing great and want to find better ways to operate. Other times, companies are doing just fine, but want to see if there are ways they could be even better. Six Sigma shows these companies a reflection of themselves and leaves room for improvement.

New Acquisitions

Six Sigma is also used in cases of new business acquisitions. A new buyer may want to get a better understanding of the business and hire a Six Sigma certified consultant to help improve operational efficiency or know how to approach the merging process.

To Be The Best

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be #1. Even when things aren’t going wrong, companies may want to continue improving and striving towards being the best of the bunch.

Why Are Companies Hesitant?


Having an outside party coming in and observing everything in such detail can seem invasive. Some companies don’t want that type of visibility on their business. Having a person floating around the business and employees for several days can seem like a nuisance, opting companies out of working with Six Sigma.

Refusal For Help

The reasons why companies refuse help are plenty, ranging from pride to ignorance, but simply put, some companies don’t want to admit that there are things they could do better.

Ready to Use Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is a proven method for improving operations, from large manufacturers to small entrepreneurial manufacturing businesses. If you’re ready to take the next step using this methodology, Cann Strategy is here to help optimize your business’ performance.

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