The Challenges of Using Track and Trace Systems

Medical cannabis is now legal in more than 30 states, while recreational adult use is now allowed in 10 states. With these statutory developments sweeping across the nation, state governments have to make sure that an effective oversight system is implemented in these jurisdictions. Regulatory agencies are key to the process of monitoring cannabis consumers and business licenses within the state. To facilitate the process, state governments had to incorporate compliance monitoring software to track and trace industry activities across the supply chain.

Components of a Track and Trace System

Several state regulatory agencies use Metrc as a track and trace system. California is one of the first states to use Metrc. Alaska, Colorado, Massachusetts, Oregon, Nevada, Washington, D.C., and several other states and jurisdictions also use the system. Metrc has web and mobile-based applications. As a cloud-based solution, data inputted into the system is updated in real time.

In California, access to the Metrc requires a current annual license. State regulatory agencies also require business owners and employees to undergo Metrc training to get fully acquainted with the ins-and-outs of the system. The training requirements are for all those who are tasked to view and input data and information into the tracking program. These individuals include all licensed holders, cultivators, lab technicians, inventory staff, dispensary employees or budtenders, and other facility staff.

System Implementation Challenges

While Metrc and other track and trace tools are essential components in monitoring the industry, the system still continues to be refined. Many businesses are still grappling with their respective statewide compliance guidelines while handling federal challenges. Integrating or migrating a POS system into a new track and trace system adds another layer to the process. In fact, 4 Common Metrc Migration Mistakes have been observed in the course of implementing the regulatory software.

Licensees who do not follow the system migration guidelines for their POs often encounter issues with their track and trace system. This is the most typical migration mistake observed in the process. Creating new items in the track and trace interface and tinkering with the formatted units of measure could also cause issues. Also, users should ensure the data has been properly synced into the system before making any revisions. When the data is not properly synced, any revisions could cause data duplication.

Costly and Time-Consuming Issues

Failure to comply with the Metrc integration guidelines could potentially cause compliance problems. Specifically, it could cause product data duplication and unreported inventory sales. When the license holders fail to detect these issues, they could face costly fines. In the case of California, the business could face a fine of at least $30,000 for non-compliance.

Track and trace systems provide a compliance management solution to state regulatory agencies. The cannabis industry continues to evolve and expand. With these changes, developers of track and trace systems have to upgrade these tools to ensure seamless implementation. Licensees also have the responsibility to know and follow the system instructions in order to avoid costly mistakes.