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Quick Hit: Pros and Cons of End-of-Day vs. Real-Time Metrc Reporting

25 March 2021  |  5 min read

End of day vs. real-time Metrc reporting

If Metrc is your state’s track-and-trace system, you understand the pressure that comes with remaining compliant.

In this post, we’ll help you draw your own conclusions about one of the most heavily debated aspects of Metrc reporting:

Should syncing your sales transactions be done in real-time or at the end of each day?

real-time vs. end of day Metrc sync or reporting

Real-time Metrc sync

Real-time reporting is done through a Metrc API from your point of sale (POS) system. Information is either pushed or pulled from one system to the other after each transaction is completed.

Some states require cannabis retailers to do real-time Metrc reporting, including Maryland, Montana, and Missouri. But other states give you the option to choose how you report.

Pros:

  • Saves time. If you’re automatically reporting to Metrc after each sale of cannabis products, you won’t have to worry about reporting at the end of the day.

  • This workflow appears to be foolproof since it’s automatic.

  • Doesn’t require trusting employees to report correctly and consistently each night.

Cons:

  • Human error and mistakes during transactions are bound to happen, and automated API pushes to Metrc mean those mistakes are reported to the state before you have a chance to correct them.

  • If one piece of the technology stops working, you will need to figure out where the error occurred and manually report anything that didn’t get automatically pushed.

In California, Metrc was frequently down at the start of 2021. Dispensaries choosing to report in real time were forced to manually enter every transaction into Metrc because the API wasn’t working properly. This caused huge problems for compliance.

This is the biggest drawback of real-time reporting. There’s inherent risk that can’t be mitigated. You simply have to hope functionality is there and then spend hours fixing issues when they arise.

End-of-day Metrc sync

Reporting to Metrc via a controlled API push from your point of sale is an alternative to the real-time option above. We call this “end-of-day reporting" (EOD). What this really means is you send your sales data to Metrc when you want, though most states require reporting daily.

End of day Metrc reporting

Most states that use Metrc as their state system for traceability have a daily syncing requirement, including Colorado, California, Oregon, Nevada, Michigan, and others. Cannabis businesses in these states can choose when and how to report to the state.

Pros:

  • Controlled pushes give you the ease and convenience of an automatic API integration with the added safeguard of being able to double-check data before reporting to regulators.

  • If Metrc goes down without your knowledge, you won’t have to worry about being out of compliance. You can make all necessary adjustments when you choose to report.

Cons:

  • This method adds another step at the end of the day and has compliance repercussions if forgotten. However, it’s a quick process and ensures you are compliant at the end of each day, which isn’t guaranteed with automatic pushes.

  • Trustworthy staff are required to ensure this step happens every single day.

If your state gives you the option between reporting to Metrc in real-time or within 24 hours, we highly recommend choosing the latter. If you want to guarantee compliance and avoid any potential human errors or Metrc downtime, go with the EOD sync.

Conclusion

Regardless of the information out there and the experiences other dispensaries have had, it’s ultimately up to you to choose how to report (if you’re not in a state that mandates live Metrc push).

If you are highly confident in your employees and aren’t worried about Metrc downtime, then go with the real-time option. Just make sure your cannabis point of sale software provider makes it easy to diagnose issues.

Flowhub’s Metrc integration allows you to see exactly which transactions didn’t successfully upload, so you can stay in compliance.

Live push failed

If you want to stick to the safest, most reliable option out there right now, you’ll want to report to Metrc via end-of-day reporting.

To see more about how Flowhub keeps you Metrc compliant, watch a demo.

Jackson Cutout

Jackson Duncan

Dispensary Operations Consultant at Flowhub

Jackson's primary role at Flowhub is to help dispensary owners and managers not only meet, but exceed all business expectations, through a focus on technological efficiencies, operational and workflow optimizations, partner integrations, and staff training.

Email: jackson.duncan@flowhub.com

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