METRC stands for Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance and is a cannabis compliance system put in place to meet individual reporting requirements required by each state that subscribes to the system. METRC is not new to anyone involved in the hemp or marijuana industry. This of course is the system in a ‘nutshell’, it is really a very elaborate cannabis tracking and inventory system that assists in monitoring product from day one throughout the sales process. The system works to help maintain compliance by tagging and identifying products and plants throughout the entire production and sales cycle for all product sold.
Along with the compliance feature of the cannabis track and trace system is the point of sale platform or POS which assists in monitoring the transportation as well as the sale of medical marijuana or recreational cannabis.
A third party company Franwell, which has been contracted by Colorado and other states to handle their “seed to sale tracking” for various regulatory agencies like the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division, is the company which designed and supports METRC. The system offers an online web based software for growers, distributors and retailers to update inventory and progress all cannabis compliance from seed to sale. Under the system, each plant and package is assigned specific RFID tags which are only distributed by METRC. This is how each plant’s progress is tracked through the system.
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In the State of Colorado there was difficulty in regulating growth and sales of marijuana. In December of 2013, METRC was adopted inside the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED). According to the Franwell website, “the system has above 20,000 users and has successfully tracked over 5,000,000 plants and 3,800,00 packages.”
Previous to using seed-to-sale tracking, the State of Colorado was having difficulty relying on “hard copy” type record keeping where a standard was not being met. The seed-to-sale system brings forth a standard for reporting and communicating with regulatory authorities about inventory and sales. The data from this program along with other states that have adopted the system leads to a dynamic approach towards regulation instead of reactive regulation which tends to address only significant cases instead of approach the industry as a whole. John Hudak of the Brookings Institute has attributed METRC in the state of Colorado by stating, “In many ways, the system is the backbone of Colorado’s regulator structure governing legalized marijuana.” – July 31, 2014.
Colorado, along with many other states had such a migration to the industry without a standard to communicate inventory and sales with dispensary owners. Franwell, the group that designed the seed to sale tracking system along with the Marijuana Enforcement Division have created a system which allows municipalities and constituents to make educated decisions based on comprehensive and fair regulatory compliance industry wide.
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As more states legalize both medical and recreational marijuana the demand for METRC and other seed-to-sale software and tracking systems increases. Higher Yields’ professional compliance consultants have worked on METRC specific systems in the following states:
In general HYC works with seed-to-sale software and tracking systems all over the United States and internationally. We work with BioTrack and other cannabis track and trace systems as well in both the recreational and medical marijuana markets.
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You must first obtain certification to utilize the system. The studies include proprietary terminology and workflow and then completing a fairly simply 40 question test. Once certified you will be able to access API endpoints that your company will require access to. You will have to complete a competency examination for each endpoint.
Our compliance consultants have years of combined experience dealing with marijuana business compliance. One thing we’ve learned is businesses must stay on top of their compliance before it gets out of hand. Don’t take any chances, ensure your greatest asset, your license. Find out if your business needs a compliance audit.
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The state of California has shut down over 300 cannabis businesses due to lack of Metrc seed-to-sale implementation. We can help you, contact us today to speak to our Metrc team.