If you've been following cannabis industry news, it's no secret California has experienced compliance challenges and delays. After years of anticipation, Franwell's Metrc system to the state of California is finally coming to fruition. Now that temporary licensees are transitioning to annual licensees, we’ve compiled this detailed overview for cannabis businesses to succeed during the transition period. (Note: This guide focuses on the retail portion of the cannabis supply chain.)
Flowhub’s history is founded in fulfilling cannabis retailers’ need for Metrc compliant business management solutions. Before Flowhub, there was no point-of-sale and inventory management platform that integrated with Metrc. Flowhub came to market in 2016 pioneering the first Metrc-integrated software tools for dispensaries and has been servicing Metrc markets ever since. Our point-of-sale and inventory management features are designed to enable dispensary owners to use Metrc simply and compliantly.
Below you’ll find a comprehensive breakdown of the different Metrc features and tools we offer, as well as a brief summary of the steps needed to get your Metrc certification in California.
The licensing agencies, in conjunction with Metrc, have compiled a step-by-step guide on how to start transitioning your dispensary to the new platform. Here is a brief description:
- Submit your application to the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) for your annual license or your provisional license
- Register and complete the New Business System Metrc training with your dedicated Metrc Account Manager
- Request Metrc plant tags, package tags and other UID tags
- Document physical receipt of requested Metrc UID tags
- Assign and apply the UID tags to your cannabis product.
What is Metrc?
Metrc services the full seed-to-sale tracking spectrum of the cannabis industry. This includes cannabis plants and cultivators, the entire distribution chain, and adult-use retail. Because Flowhub is your retail dispensary POS provider, we are at the end of the supply chain, so to speak.
This can mean a few different things. First, the initial setup of your Metrc inventory will be handled outside of your point-of-sale software. Once this is complete, you'll need to pull the inventory and package data from your Metrc account and import it into your POS. In addition, the only data Flowhub will push to Metrc is your daily sales upload. Any adjustments that need to be made to your Metrc inventory data will be made directly in your Metrc account.
Ultimately, the state selected Metrc to oversee all operations in California. This means your Metrc account is the source of truth to the state and you’ll want to utilize all available features and tools to ensure your Metrc inventory data is accurate.
Flowhub Metrc Features
Once you complete the above steps and your Metrc inventory is ready, you can start utilizing Flowhub’s Metrc features. There are several areas of Flowhub that utilize an API connection to Metrc to ensure a clean transmission of data. Here is a brief overview of the features we offer. For a more in depth description of each feature, please click the respective links:
1. Import Packages – Using the API, Flowhub syncs with your Metrc account across all cannabis licenses, allowing you to import active packages to your Flowhub inventory. Using your Product catalog in Flowhub, this feature greatly cuts down on the amount of manual data entry required to enter inventory.
2. Daily Sales Upload – Flowhub uploads your daily sales to the Metrc system with the push of a button. You can also download the daily sales CSV and make adjustments and correct discrepancies before manually uploading to Metrc. We allow this flexibility to ensure discrepancies are minimized and your inventory data remains clean. Please see more information below on your closing steps workflow.
3. Metrc Discrepancy Report – Managing your inventory and decreasing Metrc dispensary inventory discrepancies can be challenging. We, therefore, offer a comprehensive report that compares your Flowhub inventory to your Metrc inventory. There are a variety of reasons that cause discrepancies, and this report is a powerful tool to help dispensaries proactively mitigate those discrepancies.
4. Employees – users in Flowhub can assign a unique API to their profile. API keys are created in Metrc and correspond with the user’s Metrc permissions. This is what allows Flowhub users to access the different API related features such as the Discrepancy Report and uploading daily sales.
Flowhub UI and Workflow Changes
In addition to the four features above, you’ll notice other areas of Flowhub that correspond to Metrc’s workflow.
On the Add Inventory screen, you’ll see the Metrc Package Tag field which corresponds to the 24 digit UID number.
If you have an API key attached to your employee profile, you’ll see the option for Verify Tag. After you enter the package tag, you can select the Verify Tag option to confirm it’s a valid package in your Metrc account and pull in any additional batch related information not currently entered. This is a quick and helpful way to ensure the manually entered package tag matches the one from your Metrc account.
Since the RFID (package tag) is required for each product, we’ll update your inventory UI to ensure this is entered for each inventory item added to Flowhub. When sales are uploaded to Metrc each day, the package tag is how Metrc tracks the movement of cannabis and associates the quantities sold to the specific inventory items.
The package tags provided by Metrc are NOT the same as product SKUs, which are unique identifiers specific to the batch, rather than the product. Therefore, once the physical packages are received at your dispensary, we’d recommend utilizing the Print Barcode feature to use the SKU as the barcode. When you scan items into a cart, the SKU will ensure the correct inventory item with the correct package tag is being added. If you’re already using this label to print the SKU/Barcode, you won’t see that many differences to your inventory management workflow.
There will be one additional step at the end of the day, which involves completing your reporting requirements to Metrc. Each sale is recorded in our Metrc Receipts report and you’re able to send the full days worth of transactions to Metrc with the press of a button.
Using the CCTT-Metrc API, a user with a valid API key and permissions to access reports can follow these steps to upload sales to Metrc:
- Click Reports
- Search for the METRC RECEIPTS report
- Click the report and choose the Date and License Type (if applicable)
- If you’re a multi-location operation and you have the Report Admin permission, you can select which location to upload sales for.
- Choose the desired option:
- Upload to Metrc – this is the recommended option as it provides a ‘one-click’ option for sending sales through the API directly to your Metrc account.
- CSV – in the event of the API failing due to an incorrectly entered package tag or Unit of Measure (UOM), you can download the CSV and make adjustments to these values before submitting to Metrc. This allows you to minimize Metrc discrepancies by catching them before the data is uploaded.
Sales will be uploaded to Metrc on a daily basis. Once sales are uploaded to Metrc, you’ll also need to Finalize the individual receipts. You can learn more about this step from your dedicated Account Manager at Metrc. For states that require real-time reporting, Flowhub also has the ability to post sales to Metrc after each transaction.
We understand this is a stressful time and massive undertaking by the state and by you, the business owner responsible for making sure this is implemented in your shop.
Flowhub has a foundational relationship with Metrc and currently operates in 9 Metrc cannabis markets: California, Colorado, Montana, Alaska, Oregon, Michigan, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Nevada. We are confident in providing a robust cannabis tracking retail solution to cannabis licensees.
It’s time to rip the band-aid off and dive into the world of Metrc! We’re very excited to join you on this new tracking system journey.