What is Metrc? | A Complete Guide for Dispensary Owners

Josh Redford
August 9, 2021

A potent plant like marijuana requires an accountable system for monitoring usage—a system that is capable of proving to the world that marijuana can be used both medically and recreationally with zero side-effects. Metrc is that long-sought-after system.—but what is Metrc?

Metrc was designed to keep track of marijuana cultivation, preparation, and packaging. It's a database for tracking marijuana from seed to sale and identifying it using RFID tags.

Some states and regions have been hesitant to legalise marijuana, largely because of doubts about side-effects. Such doubts are slowly but surely being dispelled as a result of new techniques  becoming available for monitoring its use—to such an extent that the plant looks set to soon become an accepted household drug. 

What is Metrc? How does Metrc work? Is it the regulatory agency in charge of cannabis tracking in Oklahoma? Let's find the answers.

What is Metrc?

Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting and Compliance (METRC) is a cloud-based, compliance management software solution used to regulate marijuana use. This agro monitoring service keeps track of the mass and whereabouts of every cannabis plant and product in the state, as well as every change of ownership.

People with no informed awareness of marijuana's potency or efficacy have consumed it recklessly in the past. Accidents and other unconscious crimes have resulted from the unregulated use of this drug.

Following the legalization of marijuana, some states enacted marijuana laws to regulate its usage. As more marijuana users emerge, various adjustments to existing restrictions have been adopted. The next big move was licensing marijuana users and dispensaries as a way to make sure it is used effectively and professionally.

On June 30th, 2021, Metrc was introduced to help make the tracking of marijuana more portable and dynamic in Oklahoma City. Metrc's main goal is to figure out where cannabis plants and goods are going in each state's cannabis business.

Metrc users connect via a web-based platform.  Once logged in to the cloud-based software application, users can report information and confirm their data. Metrc's ecosystem consists of a web portal, a set of browser-based online services, a mobile application for on-site inspection, and a separate mobile application for cannabis business owners. It also supports third-party providers via APIs.

Regulatory agencies in many states compel cannabis sector firms to submit data to the Metrc system to meet legal seed-to-sale tracking duties. State cannabis regulators benefit from Metrc because it creates a significant barrier to cannabis diversion to the black market and out-of-state sales. Metrc aims to ensure that marijuana grown legally isn't sold to minors or moved over state lines.

what is metrc

What states are currently using metrc for tracking?

The speed at which states are legalizing cannabis every week can be dizzying—don’t worry, you're not high, states really are legalizing the drug on an astonishing scale. Let’s consider the states that have legalized cannabis for medicinal, recreational, or for both purposes. Metrc is a state-run regulatory body that oversees the following jurisdictions:

With more states legalizing marijuana, it's more crucial than ever to normalize Metrc in the sector. Metrc also launched a pioneering product portfolio. On the new digital platform, the public can now see photographs of marijuana products as well as information such as ingredients and potency. The tool is intended to assist school administrators, police officers, medical professionals, and parents in determining which marijuana products are legal and safe.

Three of Metrc's current customer states—Ohio, Oregon, and Montana—have extended their contracts with the track-and-trace corporation through to 2022. Due to the development of services, Metrc's contract renewal percentage of 100 percent is unique among US track-and-trace technology suppliers.

When did Oklahoma start using Metrc?

As of June 30th, 2021, Oklahoma adopted Metrc as the new tracking system. In switching  from Omma, the state needed training on how to use the Metrc software system. 

Oklahoma’s marijuana licensees now utilize the Metrc track-and-trace system to track all medical marijuana grown, processed, distributed, evaluated, and marketed in the state.

The system is up and running, and Metrc will continue to offer training and accreditation through June 30, 2022. Metrc licensees who finish the training can begin tracking inventory and familiarizing themselves with Metrc before the June 30 deadline.

what is metrc

Will Metrc expand to other states?

Yes, the Metrc network is likely to grow even more as legalization spreads. More States will use Metrc, especially  if its use in other states is seen as effective and efficient.

Seed-to-sale is widely accepted among cannabis firms as necessary for ensuring legal products and allowing for faster consumer recalls if a product has health or safety issues.

How do I connect my POS to Metrc?

For both recreational and medical marijuana transactions, point-of-sale systems are a must. Your business will be burdened with having to make a METRC data entry on top of the point of sale data entry if you don't have a METRC-integrated POS system, thus doubling the workload.

Investing in a cannabis-specific POS system is increasingly becoming a necessary component of cannabis retail, as these systems ensure compliance, improve employee efficiency, and raise customer satisfaction.

If you are a newbie in state reporting, connecting POS software to Metrc can be a little hard. By integrating a reliable and tested retail POS system with Metrc, you will not only save time and money reporting sales and inventory but will also significantly reduce the risk of regulatory issues.

The establishment of the Oklahoma cannabis track-and-trace system is for the purpose of tracking the inventory and movement of marijuana commodities as they travel through the supply chain. Metrc is simply the state's chosen software for achieving this.

Metrc API differs in a few crucial ways that cannabis operators should be aware of to enhance system efficiency and state reporting compliance. Although the API connection for retailers allows for greater bidirectional communication, cannabis growers, processors, and distributors will discover that their API connectivity with the state tracking system is limited when managing outward and inbound manifest data.

Here's how to sign up for Metrc if you already have an Oklahoma cannabis dispensary license:

  • Sign up and complete the Metrc account manager training, as well as the test.
  • Add your vendor API (Application Programming Interface) key for the sandbox, which will be generated once the test is completed.
  • Send your marijuana POS supplier your API key and your Metrc license number.
  • Contact Metrc for a personal identification tag for any inventory that has not yet been identified by the grower or processor (UID).
  • Tag your inventory using UID tags. Note: Unique identifiers (UIDs) are not reusable.
  • Log in to Metrc to double-check tag assignments and set up all of your products.
  • Lastly, to access your newly tagged inventory, go to your dispensary's POS system.

You can use Metrc's cloud-based software with a computer and an internet connection. It integrates with a third-party marijuana point-of-sale system. Also, your POS company must accomplish this, and not all companies are currently compliant.

What if my POS is not compliant with Metrc?

You may have to manually enter all of your data into the state's monitoring tool if your POS is not Metrc-compliant. Although this will take some time, the data must be recorded into the state Metrc system.

In the cannabis industry, POS solutions can make or destroy your business, therefore you need to optimize your POS system to maintain compliance. These systems communicate directly with METRC to keep track of marijuana transactions.

In the case of cannabis, inaccuracies will almost certainly result in inadvertent breaches and hefty fines. Cannabis sellers can't afford to settle for a subpar POS system when so much is at stake. Instead, you should look for point-of-sale systems that are exact and efficient.

Many POS providers will claim to be METRC-compliant. Several organizations have launched extensive integrations, but few have been successful in the cultivation and processing stages. If you're looking for third-party software solutions, it's a good idea to request a referral in your state.

what is metrc

What is a RFID tag?

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is the non-contact electromagnetic transmission of data using radiofrequency waves. The Automatic Identification and Data Capture technology group includes RFID (AIDC). AIDC methods recognize items, collect data, and enter that data directly into Metrc systems with little or no human interaction.

Also, users may automatically and uniquely identify and track inventories and assets by tagging them with RFID tags. In the same way that data from a tag or label is taken by a device and stored in a database, RFID is analogous to barcoding.

Again, RFID tags are used by METRC to allow regulators to scan a specific plant or commodity and determine its provenance. RFID tag requirements may differ depending on your state. Metrc tracks marijuana inventory by attaching serial tags to every plant and labels the wholesale packaging with bar-code, human-readable, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags.

Plants and packages are the two forms of tagged inventory in CCTT–METRC. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) transponders are embedded in each unique identifier (UID) tag. This enables automatic remote scanning and, as a result, identification of the tagged cannabis and cannabis goods.

RFID tags will be required in most jurisdictions for each factory as well as each packaged product. METRC states impose tags on a cannabis business's entire inventory, which costs between 25 and 45 cents.

What else do I need to know?

If you own a marijuana store, you must integrate operations with METRC from June 30, 2021. It's the only way to keep a cannabis supply chain compliant, and there's no getting around it. Other things you should know about Metrc include:

  • The METRC platform and continuous training, support, and maintenance will cost $40 per month. While dispensaries can use any software vendor that interfaces with METRC, METRC requires a monthly fee of $40. 
  • Subsequently, METRC's free online training is for all dispensary owners, staff, and supervisors. These seminars are held daily, and any marijuana licensed firm can sign up for training at their leisure at no additional cost.
  • Cannabis dispensaries must use physical RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) tags to uniquely identify products. And all information relating to those products must be put into the METRC system throughout the purchase to sale cycle.
  • You won't be able to make your own labels. Customers can order RFID tags in batches or bulk using METRC's online software solution. Once the printing process has begun, METRC tags are custom-printed for each dispensary and are not returnable or refundable.
  • Again, the METRC-integrated POS system allows you to concentrate on your dispensary operations rather than on compliance issues.
  • If you have an internet break that prevents you from providing the daily report to OMMA, you must record all information and store it in METRC within three days of recovering connectivity.
  • Lastly, the METRC compliance system, which will replace the OMMA's monthly reporting requirement for medical marijuana shops, is already in use in Oklahoma.

Benefits of Metrc system.

The fundamental advantage of Metrc is consumer protection. If a product has a negative side effect, such as making someone sick, the problem can be traced back to the plant group. Shelf items that are linked to a certain plant or package tag can be retrieved.

Metrc's track and trace software helps you account for every gram of useful cannabis from seed-to-sale. Dispensary owners keep track of every transaction and provide full information on how much was purchased and by whom, thanks to Metrc.

Additionally, when implementing Metrc's seed-to-sale software, compliance will include tracking, reporting, and auditing cannabis.

In a world where things are constantly changing, Metrc is the factor that helps dispensary owners, growers, and cannabis users all stay compliant and safe. 


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