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The Unsung Hero Of Cannabis Compliance: Track-And-Trace

Cannabis plant metrc seed to sale tracking

The legal cannabis industry is a two-way street. On one side you have cannabis regulators whose goal is to protect public safety, build the guardrails for a well-functioning market, and be good stewards of the freedoms that cannabis activists have fought so hard for.

On the other side you have cannabis companies that create and deliver innovative products while still complying with those regulatory guardrails. It only takes one cannabis company operating ‘out of bounds’ to sully the reputation of the entire industry, at least to some degree. Laws, rules, and regulations are in place for good reason in the legal cannabis industry – to mitigate public health issues (among other things).

One of the most vital components of an effective compliance strategy is seed-to-sale tracking software. For those that are not familiar with the concept, seed-to-sale tracking software is essentially exactly what it sounds like – it tracks cannabis from start to finish. A cannabis seed or clone is assigned a number and tracked throughout its life and the cannabis that the plant yields (and the products that are derived from it) is then tracked through the point of sale.

In the majority of states in the United States where the cannabis industry legally operates the use of seed-to-sale tracking software is required. It’s a requirement that will no doubt become a standard feature of the legal cannabis industry everywhere that it exists in the future.

“Cannabis legalization immediately tasks state governments with a host of challenging demands, including protecting public health, establishing new testing and tracking protocols, and securing the regulated market against illicit product.” says Lewis Koski, COO of Metrc, a leading cannabis industry tracking software company.

Metrc designed the first seed-to-sale tracking system in close collaboration with state regulators in Colorado in 2011, and now has over 220,000 users across the United States – more than any other vendor of its type. Metrc has tracked over $15 billion in legal cannabis sales.

“In states with legal sales, cannabis businesses are required to account for their inventory at every stage of its development and production. Metrc’s system tracks every legal product back to the original source plant, giving state cannabis agencies the tools to ensure no illicit cannabis enters the regulated market, and no cannabis products are diverted and sold unlawfully elsewhere. Product destruction and disposal are similarly monitored to prevent diversion and unlawful sale.” Koski went on to say.

As with any large industry, product recalls occur in the cannabis industry from time to time despite the best efforts by responsible cannabis companies. Just as unforeseen product safety issues can arise with lettuce and automobiles, so too can the same occur with cannabis flower and other cannabis products. It is extremely important that product recall efforts be as streamlined as possible for the sake of public health, and seed-to-sale tracking is at the heart of those efforts.

“Metrc’s centralized database allows regulators to quickly identify, isolate, and recall plants and packages that have tested positive for contamination and deemed unsafe.” points out Lewis Koski.

Seed-to-sale tracking software also serves another important role in the emerging cannabis industry, which is something that Lewis Koski of Metrc points out as well. Data from the software can be used by lawmakers, regulators, and industry members to make the cannabis industry better for everyone.

“Data from robust track-and-trace systems can also streamline compliance, support government agencies and their ability to keep up with the fast-paced cannabis industry, and offer insights on sales growth and tax revenue.” Koski said.

Find out more about seed-to-sale tracking software’s vital role in the emerging cannabis industry at our upcoming events in Berlin, Germany (August 25-27) and Zurich, Switzerland (August 31 – September 1). Grab your tickets now to take advantage of early-bird pricing!