Cannabis businesses are now required to use METRC — a seed-to-sale inventory tracking system — to adhere to compliance regulations in sixteen states. In many of these states, however, rollout of the system has been rough, especially in terms of METRC training.
Often, a company will have a single person trained to use METRC. Unfortunately, relying on this sole ambassador to educate the rest of your team can lead to issues stemming from misunderstandings and miscommunication. Worse yet, not applying the information correctly can lead to your facility falling out of compliance.
Read on to learn how you can ensure your team receives adequate and proper METRC training and keep your cannabis business running smoothly.
Misinformation & Miseducation
A METRC training ambassador likely has every good intention to share what they’ve learned with their team. But this secondhand training can easily go awry. METRC is a complicated system, and there’s no guarantee that what an ambassador learns during training will be relayed 100% accurately later on. After all, to err is human.
Secondhand trainings are therefore rife with potential problems:
- The ambassador may not have absorbed and interpreted the training information correctly.
- The ambassador may have completed their training with unanswered questions, leaving gaps in their understanding of key METRC concepts.
- The ambassador may not be adept at relaying information accurately and efficiently to others.
There’s a high likelihood that critical information will be lost in translation. What can be done to increase the effectiveness of secondhand METRC training?
Make the Most of Secondhand Training
METRC training used to take place in person, and attendees could ask a live person questions. Others likely had the same or similar questions, and everyone present would benefit from this exchange.
As more states have adopted METRC, the demand for training has increased. To keep up, METRC has switched to pre-recorded online training sessions. Sans live educators, these virtual trainings have largely put an end to organically flowing Q&A, resulting in knowledge gaps.
To combat the challenges presented by virtual training sessions, see if you can get a recording to share with your team. This will also decrease the chances of your training ambassador sharing inaccurate or incomplete information. With a recording, everyone will be on the same page.
Your ambassador might also prepare a presentation deck as a training aid. Consider bringing in a consultant who specializes in METRC for this project. The consultant will ensure that the information your ambassador is relaying to the rest of the team through the deck is both accurate and complete.
You can also make secondhand METRC training more effective by delivering the information in a way that’s hands-on and in real-time. Seeing how METRC actually works and applies to your day-to-day operations will make the information less abstract and more understandable for trainees.
Have a Solid SOP
Even the smallest mistake in your standard operating procedure (SOP) can quickly spiral into a detrimental problem for your company. Repercussions might include inaccurate inventory, which could, in turn, lead to license violations, expensive fines, and suspensions. Ultimately, your business could be shut down.
Having an accurate SOP in place prior to your team being trained in METRC is vital. To make sure every step in your process is properly accounted for, work with a consultant during the drafting process.
Make the finalized SOP available to your team so they can use it during their METRC training. Seeing how METRC aligns with your company’s SOP every step of the way will help team members better understand what they’re learning. Correctly applying this information after training is key to staying compliant with state regulations.
Customize to Fit Your Unique Needs
METRC is inherently intricate — the system traces every step your product takes, from cultivation to final sale. The risk of a trainee misunderstanding the system is compounded by the fact that how exactly METRC is used varies depending upon where your facility falls on the manufacturing and distribution spectrum.
For example, a growth facility is going to use METRC differently than a dispensary would. Likewise, a manufacturer who produces oil is going to be subject to a different METRC process than one that uses wholesale oil to infuse an edible. The workflows of each facility will vary as well.
Again, a knowledgeable consultant can assist you with customizing your SOP to fit your business’s unique workflow and processes and then align your team’s secondhand METRC training to ensure compliance. Attempting such a hugely important undertaking on your own isn’t advised.
The Future of METRC Training
As the industry continues to evolve and more states alter their cannabis laws, METRC is doing its best to keep up. Originally, when states first started legalizing the use of cannabis, there was talk of a “METRC University,” where the training process would become more streamlined and consistent.
However, each state has its own regulatory nuances that make a single comprehensive training program impossible. Private consultation companies, like Higher Yields, are stepping in to make sure cannabis companies are adequately trained to use METRC and stay compliant.
The METRC training process has yet to be perfected, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Properly introducing your team to METRC right from the start can protect your business from the downward spiral of misinformation that leads to fines, suspensions, and business shutdowns.
Need help navigating METRC and using it to stay in compliance? Contact us today for a consultation.