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Everything You Need to Know About METRC Cannabis Tracking, Reporting & Compliance

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February 04, 2019

METRC has been in the news in California recently with the approval of Resolution 3702, which approved a new vendor TrackLoop.

This new software vendor will provide a new option for cannabis operators hoping to comply with California’s Track-and-Trace requirements.

There’s still a lot of confusion surrounding METRC, which stands for Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance.

It’s important to understand METRC, however, because the entire cannabis supply chain – cultivators, manufacturers, retailers, distributors, testing laboratories and micro-businesses – must comply with the METRC reporting standards.

What is METRC?

The best way to describe METRC is that it is, at its core function in the state of California, a regulatory reporting system.

The system provides cannabis operators with the tools to comply with state reporting and track and trace requirements, as well as the platform to literally track and trace cannabis and cannabis products.

There is no right or wrong way to use METRC, because it is a platform that the state uses to monitor operators, receive reports, and track cannabis and cannabis products from seed to sale. There is, however, a specific way that operators should be reporting their activities and transactions to the state, which is clearly outlined in state regulations.

The success of METRC is hinged upon serialization and accountability. Up until METRC, each cannabis business used its own methods and means to track and trace cannabis and cannabis products.

Now, METRC will provide a cloud-hosted, singular database of 24-alphanumeric serial numbers, that will be used to identify and differentiate cannabis and cannabis products across all commercial cannabis verticals in California.

Each cannabis plant, harvest, oil, and package will be tagged, marked, and accounted for through its system generated serial numbers.

The success of serialization is dependent on the accountability of operators to manage the tools METRC provides. In order to ensure the success of both, METRC will be providing training, support, and guidance on how operators set up their accounts, manage its users, activity, and information that is put into the system.

What should you expect from METRC?

Imagine METRC as equipment that is set up in a building, which is owned by the state. You, as the operator, are renting space in the building and will need to use the equipment (METRC) as part of the lease agreement.

The lease agreement, in this case, would be the state regulations, which you need to comply with, in order to keep your lease.

Since the state owns the building, and is requiring you to use certain equipment in the space that you’ve leased, then you are in the position of having to learn how to use it. The equipment is standard and straightforward. You will be able to use the equipment however you choose, as long as you are following the regulations stipulated in your lease agreement.

Here’s an example...

One of the biggest issues every cannabis business encounters is human error, especially in reporting. METRC will not tell you there is one way to report a transaction or a rejection of a transaction. However, METRC will provide the tools to rectify an error in reporting in a way that the state finds acceptable.

What you should expect from METRC is proper training and great troubleshooting. Everything else is up to how you manage the tools METRC provides you to comply with state reporting and track and trace regulations.

METRC’s RFID Technology

METRC uses standard Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID). Industries use this technology to simplify tracking products in elaborate supply chains.

In this case, the cannabis industry will be using it to track cannabis and cannabis products at every stage. It can also provide historical data regarding where a product originated, where it traveled, and where it was consumed or purchased.

Why not just use a SKU and scan the plants or products? The simple answer is scale.

Scanning 4,000 plants every other day can lead to a high margin or error depending on the circumstances of the person scanning. It would take hours to get the job done.

With RFID technology, the equipment scans everything with a tag within 10-15 feet of the device and requires no line of sight. This means that a 15-hour job, could be accomplished, quite accurately, in 15 minutes.

How do you use METRC?

You will use METRC the way you want. But you will have to undergo training and certification in order to demonstrate that you are aware of how the system works and the tools it provides you to comply with reporting and track and trace regulations.

Using METRC is easy. Managing how it is used and complying with regulations could be a lot more difficult if you and your authorized users don’t spend the time to become familiar with the tools and regulations.

For help with METRC, speak to one of our experts by clicking the "Get Started" button below.

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Post Tags: California, Compliance

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