*This post was first published on February 23, 2021. We'll update as more information comes available. Sign up for email updates here.
Ready for Metrc seed-to-sale, Oklahoma?
Metrc was recently chosen as Oklahoma’s seed-to-sale tracking system. If you’re a cannabis dispensary owner in Oklahoma, you’re probably wondering what to do next.
Here's an overview of next steps and what we currently know:
- OMMA has confirmed Metrc will replace the monthly reporting structure.
- You can now sign up for Metrc trainings.
- You must be fully operational on Metrc by April 30th.
In this post, we’ll help you prepare to switch to Metrc, including how to use the system, what changes you’ll need to make to your workflows, expected challenges, and resources for using Metrc, including how to resolve inventory discrepancies.
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How to get started with Metrc
Here's what you can expect the Metrc + Oklahoma’s onboarding process to look like:
- Familiarize yourself with Metrc, and watch their training videos.
- Schedule training with Metrc (sign up is now live).
- Determine who will be responsible for all things Metrc (often the license holder or trusted store manager).
- Request online access for Metrc.
- Complete the New Business System Metrc training with your dedicated Metrc Account Manager. OMMA requires Metrc training and subsequent credentialing of businesses into their user accounts to be completed by March 26, 2021.
- Add your employees to Metrc and ensure they have the correct permissions that match their position.
- Request Metrc plant tags, package tags, and other UID tags. Note: These will cost you. Metrc charges $0.45 per plant tag and $0.25 per package tag.
- Document physical receipt of requested Metrc UID tags.
- Assign and apply the UID tags to your cannabis products.
- Access the Beginning Inventory Guide in Metrc which outlines steps to enter initial plant and/or package inventory into the system. Beginning inventory must be completed by April 30th.
- On April 30th, you must be fully operational on Metrc and must start reporting all transactions of inventory directly into Metrc.
For more information on how to do any of these tasks, see the OMMAs Next Steps doc.
If Metrc is completely new to you, and you don't understand why you need to use it or how it works, start by reading Metrc 101: How to Keep Your Dispensary Compliant.
Changes to your daily workflows
The day-to-day operations of your marijuana business will change when you’re onboarded to Metrc. Here's what you’re going to need to change; you may as well start preparing now.
- Start purchasing marijuana products exclusively from Metrc-approved vendors.
- OMMA has confirmed that Metrc will replace the monthly reporting structure. Once you're live on Metrc, you no longer have to do the monthly OMMA reports.
- Establish clear naming conventions for your cannabis products to avoid any discrepancies when reporting to Metrc.
- There’s no room for error with Metrc, so ensure your dispensary is organized and your employees are well trained. Set up clear dispensary SOPs to make sure your day-to-day workflows run efficiently.
- You’ll be reporting sales daily with uploads to Metrc either by CSV file or through an API push. Make sure your staff members are equipped to handle this and build it into their daily tasks.
- Make sure your dispensary point of sale has a direct integration with Metrc. Most, but not all, vendors do this. Some do a real-time push of data to Metrc, while others, including Flowhub, prefer an end-of-day push to ensure the data you send to Metrc (and thus, the state), is clean and correct. Depending on what the state chooses (real-time or end-of-day) Flowhub can accommodate.
- For further help on adjusting your daily workflows, check out this free training from RMCC, What You Need to Know for a Successful Metrc Transition.
Note: It's unknown if Oklahoma dispensaries will have to do real-time or end-of-day (within 24 hours) data pushes to Metrc. We suspect end-of-day but will update as soon as there is more information.
Expected challenges when onboarding Metrc
We expect to see some hiccups in the coming months as the state transitions from OMMA reporting to Metrc track and trace.
- There are over 10,000 medical marijuana licenses in Oklahoma. Onboarding all of them to Metrc is going to be a massive undertaking. OMMA has confirmed that it will take several months to get dispensaries trained and up to speed on the system.
- There’s going to be a learning curve. This is an entirely new process for dispensaries so plan ahead and you’ll avoid frustration in the future.
- There is time. You won’t be required to onboard, adjust workflows, and start using Metrc overnight. You do have to be trained and ready by the deadline. Currently the deadline is April 30th.
- Once Metrc is available and starts onboarding dispensaries, you'll have a set period of time to get onboarded and start using the system. You won’t be penalized for not being 100% on Metrc until that deadline passes.
Best practices for Oklahoma Metrc compliance
Once you get logged in, trained, and start transacting under Metrc’s seed-to-sale tracking system, the work isn’t over. You need to maintain full compliance at all times with Metrc.
Here are some tips for staying compliant with Metrc long-term:
- Understand how to reconcile inventory discrepancies in Metrc. You’ll run into discrepancies and need to fix them ASAP to avoid penalties. Read this to learn how to fix 6 common inventory discrepancies.
- Take advantage of the resources available to you. Flowhub users: The Help Hub has several articles and how-to videos specifically about running the Metrc Discrepancy Report, understanding the different Metrc discrepancies, and resolving them quickly.
- Make sure your dispensary point-of-sale system integrates with Metrc. This makes daily reporting significantly quicker and easier. If your POS doesn't integrate, you'll spend several hours every day manually trying to stay compliant.
- We recommend reporting to Metrc via a controlled API push instead of automatically reporting after each sale. This allows you to check for discrepancies at the end of the day, before you send your data to the state.
Worried about sharing your data with Metrc?
The main concern we've heard from Oklahoma dispensaries is about data.
If you're worried that Metrc will have access to your data in real time, only two Metrc states currently require real-time reporting and they have much smaller markets than Oklahoma.
While it’s ultimately up to the state to decide how/when businesses send data, we think real-time push is unlikely.
The other top concern is around how data is used. Realistically, even though a new technology is entering the process, it won't be much different than what you're used to with OMMA reporting. Even with Metrc, Oklahoma owns the data.
Metrc sits in the middle of the regulatory framework. The states contract with Metrc, we help them collect the data to do their monitoring and enforcement. The data is owned by the states.Lewis Koski, COO, Metrc
States often use data to help monitor licensees and also inform future decision-making, like new policy.
This access to data also helps legitimize legal cannabis markets. The state can report on cannabis trends that they’re seeing and help the population understand how/why the market is operating in certain ways.
Are you ready to switch to Metrc?
While switching regulatory systems may seem daunting, Metrc is an excellent system that enables compliance and safety for the cannabis industry. Once you get to the point of normal operation on the traceability software, you’ll be glad you switched.
If you need any help gearing up for Metrc in the coming weeks or months, reach out to us. Flowhub was the first POS provider to integrate with Metrc, so we have years of expertise on this topic. And don't forget to sign up to get alerts for Metrc Oklahoma information. We’ve been here before and can be a resource to help your dispensary find success in this transition.