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Metrc is Coming! Learning the Basics of Metrc Compliance – Part I

27 October 2017  |  3 min read


California & Nevada have announced their decisions, both are moving forward with Metrc as their seed-to-sale tracking system for the regulatory agencies of the legal cannabis industry.

This means major changes are coming to the entire California and Nevada cannabis supply chain. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Higher scrutiny on licensed facilities from state regulators
  • More time employees will spend on day to day work flows
  • Higher payroll costs
  • Higher costs for cultivation due to plant and package tag purchase.

**Please note that this blog is not official Metrc training, but rather providing insight into what is Metrc, what a Metrc compliant dispensary can expect in the future, and how Flowhub can make Metrc compliance a breeze with our software and services.

Metrc Tags

What is Metrc?

Metrc is a web-based platform for end to end tracking of all cannabis products from licensed facilities. Metrc was designed by regulators to create visibility for adherence to the established regulations and policies per state (No two Metrc instances are the same). Metrc has been an extremely useful tool in maintaining compliance in this ever growing and changing industry. As an industry, we are all now in the business of compliance.

In 2013, the state of Colorado established a relationship with Franwell, a tech company out of Florida, to develop a solution to control unlawful production and dispensing of cannabis products. Since then, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Alaska, and Oregon have all joined Colorado to entrust Metrc in the tracking of legal cannabis.

Metrc Tag

Metrc tracks your plants and products with Radio Identification Tags or RFID tags. These tags get attached to each plant and cannabis product. These tags are purchased directly from Franwell. To prepare for the future order tags ahead of the start of your operations. DO NOT RUN OUT OF TAGS! This will keep you from packaging or transferring any new material. Also tags add up quickly, so it’s important to ensure you are accurately attaching these tags to your products and plants.

Here’s the Math

Franwell Metrc tags cost anywhere from $.25 to $.45 a tag. For example, a facility that has 50,000 plants, this equals over $22K just for your plant tags. That’s not including the tags you need for packaging. This estimate is on the low end cost to tag your products and plants. If you have a larger operation your costs could be anywhere from $5,400 to $30,000 in plant tags alone!!

Lifecycle of the Metrc Plant Tag

Plant Tag Life Cycle
  1. Cuttings, seedlings, or clones are grouped and identified as an immature batch as receive a Metrc tag
  2. An immature plant becomes a vegging plant when the plant is larger than what the state regulations mandated (some states 8” others 24”)
  3. The plant tag follows a specific plant through the flowering process
  4. When it is mature enough to be grouped into a harvest batch
  5. From there you can package your product and attach Package tags.
  6. A product may have its Metrc Tags changed multiple times before the product reaches a dispensing facility, but all changes must be reflected to the state regulators through Metrc.

So, what else does Metrc track? In short: Everything. The California and Nevada cannabis industries have a lot of work ahead and in Part II find how Flowhub is here to help make the move to Metrc smooth and pain free!

Next, please read Metrc is Coming! Learning the Basics of Metrc Compliance- Part II or sign up for a demo of Flowhub today.

Leah Houghton

Leah Houghton

Inventory and Compliance Manager

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