The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority announced that Metrc was chosen to implement the state’s seed-to-sale tracking system for cannabis. Director Dr. Kelly Williams took the time to answer Oklahoma Gazette’s questions about the early stages of its implementation
Gazette: How was Metrc chosen as the contract awardee?
Williams: All bidders were evaluated by a team of reviewers using the same scoring formula that was determined prior to review of the proposals. This formula included the ability to meet OMMA’s requirements, cost to the state, and cost to our licensees. Metrc scored the highest using this formula.
Gazette: When does the OMMA expect Metrc to be implemented?
Williams: Metrc has up to six months to get the Oklahoma seed-to-sale platform ready to launch. We will have more information on the timeline for businesses in the coming weeks and will be posted on the OMMA website and the Oklahoma page of Metrc’s website once available.
Gazette: Will there be OMMA-directed training on the system for businesses?
Williams: Metrc will be providing training to OMMA commercial licensees on their system before it goes live in Oklahoma. Once a training schedule is available, we will provide that information to our licensees.
Gazette: How much will this cost Oklahoma cannabis businesses to implement?
Williams: Metrc charges $40 per month and per license for access to METRC and for ongoing training, support, and maintenance. Tags cost 45 cents apiece for plants and twenty-five cents apiece for wholesale package tags.
Gazette: How long will cannabis businesses have to get into compliance?
Williams: OMMA and Metrc are working together on a timeline for our licensees to implement the system and input their beginning inventory.
Gazette: If a business has already purchased and started using another seed-to-sale tracking system, will it be able to communicate with Metrc or will this system have to be used?
Williams: Use of Metrc for full seed-to-sale tracking will be required, and Metrc will provide an Application Programming Interface (API) to customers who wish to use a third-party inventory management system to integrate with the Metrc system. Licensees may also utilize a comma-separated values upload function to interface with the system if they prefer.
Gazette: Who will have access to the data entered into Metrc?
Williams: Only OMMA and the licensee will have access to their business’s information. However, when products are being prepared for transfer, a receiving business can see the package information and lab results from the shipping business prior to receiving the inventory into their account. The lab results will be entered directly by the laboratories and not by the selling licensee. This is very exciting as we know that many of our commercial licensees would like better assurance of the safety and quality of products before purchase.
Gazette: While it’s a given that individual plants will need to be tagged and tracked, how does this seed-to-sale system affect processors and dispensaries?
Williams: All plants and wholesale packages must be tagged with Metrc’s RFID tags. Metrc training will detail the protocols for our licensees for what, when, and how to tag.
Gazette: How will this change the OMMA’s ability to recall products?
Williams: Metrc’s system will require labs to directly input testing results into the system, enable commercial licensees to match lab results in the system with a specific physical product, and prevent the movement of products that do not pass testing. This step alone will help to ensure that the product being sold or transferred between our commercial licensees meets OMMA’s safety requirements. In the event that a recall is needed, the Metrc system will enable OMMA to track the upstream source of the affected product, the sale or transfer history downstream, and identify the current physical location of the recalled products. This enables us to have faster response time on investigations into the source of the problem and to immediately contact licensees that are in possession of the product in order to prevent further sale or transfer.
Gazette: What will happen in the event that OMMA deems patterns to be “unusual” within the software?
Williams: If unusual patterns in the movement of product are identified, OMMA can conduct an investigation to determine the source of that pattern and work with law enforcement or other agencies as necessary to respond to the situation.
Gazette: Can an exportable database be created in another program, such as Excel, and what are the requirements for that database?
Williams: Licensees who do not have a third-party point-of-sale system can enter the required information directly into the Metrc website or utilize a CSV (comma separated values) upload function to interface with the Metrc system. Metrc trainings will instruct OMMA licensees on system features, including their ability to export their own information from the Metrc system.