Six Sigma isn’t the name of the newest superhero group from the latest franchise blockbuster. It’s a set of techniques that can lead to higher productivity, increased bottom line, improved production quality, and customer satisfaction. Do we have your attention now?

With markets growing more competitive, especially in the cannabis industry, it’s important to find ways to edge out the competition. Therefore, a Six Sigma evaluation can make the difference between rising above the rest or getting lost in the crowd.

In this article, we’ll share what six sigma is, what lean six sigma is, how six sigma works for dispensaries, and other ways it can help your cannabis business.

What is Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is a set of techniques companies use to improve operations and supply chains. Six Sigma utilizes DMAIC, control charts, and FMEA. The ultimate goal of Six Sigma is to achieve total consistency and predictability.

What is Six Sigma’s Concept?

Six Sigma consists of 5 steps commonly referred to as DMAIC:

  • Define
  • Measure
  • Analyze
  • Improve
  • Control

In sum, these steps create greater efficiencies in operations and eliminate waste, which applies to physical waste or abstract waste, for instance, the misuse of time.

Through these techniques, companies find themselves asking, What is the most efficient way to get from point A to point B?

DMAIC six sigma 5 steps

What is Six Sigma Certification?

Six Sigma includes an applied set of techniques that take time and dedication to master.

For this reason, one can receive an official Six Sigma certification. This certification shows that a person or a business has a high level of experience in studying and applying the techniques.

To get the best six sigma certification, individuals partner with recognizable and respected certification bodies. The most well-known programs include: American Society for Quality, International Six Sigma Institute, and Lean Six Sigma Institute.

How Does Six Sigma Work for Dispensaries?

Researching and Analyzing

The path towards a more efficient workplace starts with research.

Companies bring in Six Sigma certified consultants for a business assessment. A consultant will watch everything, from customer check-in all the way to check out. Their goal is to answer the question: What’s being done that doesn’t need to be done?

As a result, Consultants use collected data to identify aspects of operation where they can 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 their assessment, your consultant will categorize the qualitative information they’ve collected into a set of data points. The end result will be a report about operational issues and suggestions for improvement to increase profitability and efficiency

This part is important if, for instance, a cashier has to click on four different screens to complete a customer’s transaction. A consultant would 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 improved efficiency

open sign for business

When Is Six Sigma Needed in Cannabis Businesses?

When Things Could Be Better

You might be aware that you could be doing better but don’t know where to start. Conversely, you might be doing just fine but know you could be doing more. Six Sigma exposes points of weakness to help business owners reflect and improve.

New Acquisitions

Six Sigma can also be used in cases of new business acquisitions. New buyers might aim to get a  better understanding of current processes by hiring a Six Sigma certified consultant to improve operational efficiency and more. 

To Be The Best

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be #1. Even when things aren’t going wrong, it’s important to continue striving towards being the best of the bunch.

Why Are Companies Hesitant To Use Six Sigma?


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. 

We CANN Do That

Ultimately, Six Sigma is a proven method for improving operations for manufacturers large and small. It’s a methodology that our team at CANN believes in using to improve operational efficiency. 

If you’re ready to take the next step using this methodology, CANN Strategy is here to help optimize your business’ performance. Let’s start the conversation, contact us today.

Juliana Whitney