What is Metrc and How is it Used by California’s Cannabis Businesses?

As more states continue to pass bills to legalize retail marijuana sales, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to make sure every stage in the supply chain works as promised — from the cannabis farm to the customer’s doorstep. Regulators have enough concerns granting licenses to shops, producers, and distributors, as well as ensuring products are properly tested to comply with health and safety regulations before being offered to the public.

California and 11 other states across the US are using a one-stop-shop solution to record the inventory and movement of marijuana products statewide. Metrc is a cloud-hosted software system that promises to help licensed cannabis businesses manage their supply chain duties as per state regulations. The implementation of Metrc in the Golden State is called CCTT-Metrc. Here’s all you need to know about it.

What is Metrc and How is the California Cannabis Industry Implementing It?

Metrc is an excellent reporting tool that helps track cannabis products from seed to sale in the legal marijuana industry. It’s been implemented in several states from coast to coast in an attempt to pave the way towards cannabis compliance data reporting. Metrc stands for Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting and Compliance. It was developed by Franwell — a Florida-based company — to increase transparency and safety for cannabis consumers in this ever-evolving industry.

Not only does Metrc protect customers from dubious cannabis products but it also streamlines business operations for entrepreneurs. This handy system collects data on cannabis products via unique identifier numbers (UIDs) as they move from one hand to another through the commercial supply chain. This ensures that every single transfer is accurately recorded. This also allows suppliers and retailers to easily track and trace stock and sales. The system mainly consists of:

  • An online app
  • Web services
  • A mobile app for site inspection
  • A mobile app for industry use

Cannabis production and distribution is an up-and-coming industry that the state is still trying to navigate. So, regulating all marijuana-related movements and transactions is still a complicated process. 

Software like Metrc lets authorities ensure no product that could make a consumer ill or put them at risk ever hits the shelves. On the off chance this occurs, Metrc ensures that the necessary items are recalled on time before anybody gets hurt. Without a system like Metrc, it would be nearly impossible to identify where all existing units of a potentially dangerous product are.

What Exactly Does Metrc Track?

This software records all activities, growth phases, and plant movement at every scale. This includes if operators are moving each plant to a different room, an extraction laboratory, a dispensary, or a waste plant. All marijuana plants are labeled with unique tags that record their:

  • Plant ID number
  • Scannable barcode
  • Order date
  • Usage identifier — whether they’re recreational or medical
  • License number
  • Facility name

How to Get Set Up on Metrc

To sign up for Metrc, operators need to obtain user access by submitting their annual license application and take the necessary training to understand how to use the software. Once that’s out of the way, licensees can call or email Metrc customer support to receive confirmation of their annual license and training completion. Upon approval, operators will follow the steps to obtain login credentials and email verification. They will then accept the Metrc Terms and Conditions to set up a user profile.

How to Use Metrc

Every cannabis operator needs to come up with their own Metrc integration solution to use this mandatory reporting software. There are many methods to start using Metrc, but the software itself is not designed to offer extensive resource management to its users.

‌One way to start using Metrc is to manually collect and enter data. However, this is a risky and time-consuming auditing task that leaves room for human error. Those entrepreneurs who lack a complex inventory management system may have a hard time incorporating Metrc into their regular operations. To make the process a lot easier, automation is essential.  

Lucky for all Metrc users, this software supports seamless integration with several third-party solutions. Investing in a sophisticated POS system is the fastest route to ensure compliance with state rules and regulations. It’s as easy as scanning a product as it’s being purchased for the sale to be recorded by state authorities.

Investing some time and effort in implementing automated tools and processes to integrate Metrc is a lifesaver. It means spending fewer hours trying to figure out the source behind complex inventory discrepancies. Dispensary owners can now focus on developing business strategies that will help them thrive in the cannabis industry.

Metrc FAQ

What Is a UID?

A unique identification number is an alphanumeric code that retailers and operators use to effectively identify a specific cannabis plant or product on their premises. UIDs can be ordered as individual plant tags or package tags that the licensee inputs into the Metrc system. These codes are meant to track all types of marijuana products as they move through the supply chain, whether they’re being transferred from one supplier to another or sold to the final consumer.

Do All Cannabis Businesses Have to Use Metrc?

In short, yes. Once implemented by the state, all licensed cannabis companies need to report specific product-related data into the Metrc system for the pertinent authorities to be able to track and trace products through the supply chain. Setting up Metrc will allow them to be compliant with all state rules and regulations.

Can You Still Use Third-Party Inventory Management and POS software When Using Metrc?

‌Yes! Metrc is compatible with numerous third-party integrations and APIs. Their development team has taken the necessary measures to guarantee all users will be able to use POS and other software in conjunction with Metrc every step of the way. Automation is key to make the implementation of Metrc successful for every compliant cannabis business. It also minimizes errors that could cause inventory discrepancies.

How Much Does Metrc Cost?

A‌cording to the developer’s website, Metrc charges a monthly $40 fee per license. The subscription allows access to the platform for support, maintenance, and ongoing training. Licensees can use other software providers to integrate Metrc into their daily operations. However, they still need to pay the monthly charge per license. Additionally, licensees must pay $0.45 per plant tag and $0.25 per package tag. All tags need to be purchased directly from Metrc.

Where Can You Learn More About State Regulations, Compliance, and Metrc?

Some California cannabis consulting companies, like M Consulting, specialize in providing cannabis compliance consulting and further education on the latest state rules and regulations. These businesses can help you better understand and comply with Metrc standards.

Learn More About Metrc

The cannabis industry landscape continues to evolve. Entrepreneurs and operators must stay on top of the ever-changing state rules and regulations to remain compliant. If you need to learn more about what you can do to keep your marijuana business on the right track, contact M Consulting Experts and book an appointment today!

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