Metrc, the Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Regulatory Compliance system, was built in 2014 by Florida-based tech company Franwell, to track cannabis production from seed to sale. Since its inception, Metrc has been adopted by 13 states, and in 2019 Franwell reported that over 120,000 users recorded $11.5 billion in cannabis business sales country-wide.
Like it or not, the California Cannabis Track and Trace (CCTT) Metrc system is here to stay.
By January 6th, 2020, all licensed cannabis businesses in California are required to be using it. We’ve had almost a year to get acquainted with this software, so why have so many businesses struggled to get onboard?
In California, the roll-out of CCTT-Metrc in January 2019 was fraught with challenges.
Only provisional and annual license holders are able to use the system, even though in January 2019 the majority of the state’s cannabis businesses were still operating on temporary licenses, and there was a lengthy wait for government approvals of annual licenses. This meant that approved users were finding themselves burdened with completing extra steps within Metrc every time they wanted to transfer products to non-Metrc licenses.
The UID tags required by the government are only issued 500 at a time, plus all of the tags have to be assigned within Metrc before a license can order more, and it takes a minimum of 3 business days for delivery of new tags. For a busy distribution company, with a high-volume of product turnaround, this can cause bottlenecks in fulfillment to retailers.
There is confusion regarding the use of Metrc itself, from how to create items, to how to assign package and plant tags, to how to initiate and complete the different types of transfers. With only a few YouTube videos, sporadic in-person training sessions, and several days lag in receiving a response from Metrc and the various government agencies, users find themselves under-equipped to be correctly using the software.
Now that all licenses are on Metrc, support for users is needed more than ever.
Thankfully we are seeing some excellent 3rd-party business software come onto the market, platforms that integrate with Metrc in very useful ways, as well as manage inventory, sales, and provide meaningful financial reporting. Cannabis business are no longer limited to only using clumsy government compliance reporting software to track and manage inventory. In future blogs, we are going to discuss the various software platforms out there, so cannabis businesses can decide which ones are the right fit for their company.