In September 2020, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) announced that they had selected Metrc for the implementation of a statewide marijuana seed to sale tracking system. As the OMMA and Metrc move forward toward the rollout of the new tracking system, many current cannabis operators are wondering what steps they need to take in order to be prepared when the system goes live.
Having integrated with the Metrc system in 14 other states, BioTrack is here to help you understand and better prepare for the rollout in Oklahoma.
What is Metrc?
If you’re not familiar with Metrc, which stands for Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance, it’s a cannabis traceability software platform developed by Franwell, Inc. for tracking the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, distributing and selling of cannabis products. The information gathered in the Metrc system is available in real-time for the OMMA and any other state-authorized entity as well as the licensee. The primary functions of the seed to sale tracking system are to protect public health and prevent the diversion of medical marijuana to the black market.
Metrc utilizes a system of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags that contain a unique identifier (UID) to track cannabis plants and products as they move throughout the supply chain all the way to the end consumer. It’s important to keep an accurate inventory of your Metrc tags as they are not reusable, and running out will mean that you cannot continue your business operations until you receive more.
Along with placing the RFID tags on each cannabis plant and product, Oklahoma licensees will also be required to enter certain information into Metrc’s cloud-based software using a unique login that will be provided to them.
What Does Metrc Lack?
Many cannabis operators get a false impression that all they need to run their business is Metrc. However, Metrc is strictly a reporting tool that tracks certain data points throughout the supply chain. The system is specifically designed for government entities to keep track of plants and products. It doesn’t offer any features to help your business operate or gain an advantage over your competitors.
This is why most businesses choose to go with third-party cannabis software to help them run more effectively and efficiently.
What is a UID?
A UID is an alphanumeric code or designation used to uniquely identify a specific plant, cannabis, and/or cannabis product on a licensed premises. UIDs are specifically provisioned as plant tags or package tags and are ordered by and assigned to the licensee within the Metrc system. Assigned UIDs track the cannabis and cannabis products when they are transferred from one licensee to another licensee or sold to the end consumer.
Do I have to use Metrc?
Yes. Once implemented, all licensed cannabis businesses in Oklahoma will be required to report certain data into the Metrc system in order to remain compliant with state regulations.
Can I still use third party inventory management and POS software like BioTrack?
The great news is yes! Shortly after they were awarded the Oklahoma contract, Metrc released the necessary API calls that third party integrators need in order for their software to properly communicate with Metrc. Our development team has been hard at work to ensure our customers will be able to successfully use their current BioTrack seed to sale software in conjunction with Metrc on the first day of the launch.
At the time of this writing, BioTrack has completed the integration using the Oklahoma APIs provided by Metrc, and we are on the final step of being designated as a Metrc approved provider in Oklahoma.
With BioTrack’s custom Metrc integration, not only can you still utilize BioTrack in Oklahoma for your day to day operations, but BioTrack will also automatically report information to the Metrc system. Our goal is to limit the amount of time customers will need to spend manually entering data into the Metrc system by automatically communicating as much of the required data as possible from your BioTrack system directly to the state tracking system.
Want to learn more about why you should use BioTrack’s Metrc integration? Read 5 Reasons You Need More Than Metrc.
How Much Does Metrc Cost?
According to Metrc’s website, “Metrc charges $40 per month per license reporting fee for access to the Metrc platform and for ongoing training, support, and maintenance. While licensees are able to use other software providers that integrate into Metrc, licensees must still pay this $40 per month charge. (Note: this is a per license, not per user, charge.) The reporting fee will only apply after the licensee is granted access to the software.
Additionally, Metrc charges $0.45 per plant tag and $0.25 per package tag.”
Licensees will be required to purchase these tags directly from Metrc.
In order to prepare for the additional costs associated with the new tracking system, we advise that you run an analysis of your average monthly inventory and account for how much the new fees will cost your business. This will help you avoid unexpected expenses as the tag fees can mount quickly, especially for larger operators.
How will I get training on using Metrc?
As the actual implementation of the Metrc system nears completion, Metrc will be publishing a schedule of events, to include licensee training. Once a licensee has completed the necessary training from Metrc they will be given credentials to access the system.
If all goes according to the current plan, Metrc will be launched as Oklahoma’s statewide seed to sale tracking system this year. Licensees should begin to prepare now for the changes that this will bring to their business. Before the statewide rollout current licensees should:
- Familiarize themselves with the Metrc system and sign up for training once it becomes available
- Order plant and package tags
- Conduct a financial analysis to better understand the impact of new fees on your business
- Schedule a demo to learn more about how BioTrack can help you transition easily to the new statewide tracking system