RFID Tags (Metrc Manual)

The requirement for the tagging of plants and packages is derived from the rules and regulations that govern the Marijuana industry. The need for the tag is to provide a unique identification number for each plant and package created in the Metrc system. By providing these unique numbers Metrc creates a chain of custody from the origination of the plants through the to the final sale. Attaching the unique numbers is a common practice in many industries where a chain of custody is required. In fact, many of the features of the Metrc system were developed in the food service and pharmaceutical industries where patient safety and having the ability to perform recalls if necessary are strong considerations. Because the RFID tag has a unique ID number for each plant and package and coupled with Metrc event history, the ability to monitor the movement and contact history of each and every tagged item allows the oversight required for the rules and regulations. 

 

The RFID component

 

The RFID tags used in the Metrc systems are reffered to as a commercial off the shelf (COTS) product. These RFID tags are governed by the EPC (Electronic Product Code) Class 1 Gen. 2 protocol under the ISO18000 part 6. The RFID tags themselves are programmed by Metrc when a customer places an order and specifically assigned to that facility. This is why each facility must place orders individually for that one and one facility only. Tags can not be moved or reassigned.  By following this process, the chain of custody becomes very strong and reduces user error by eliminating the need for a user to enter ID numbers into the metrc system.    

 

The RFID tag is made up of several components, the RFID chip, the antenna the chip uses to send and receive it's unique ID number with the substrate the RFID tag is attached to. This assembly is referred to as a RFID inlay and shown in the figure below.

There are two types of tagged inventory in Metrc; Plants and Packages.

 

The Plant Tag

 

The Plant Tag is used to track the plant from the immature phase through to the harvest. A clone or seedling is not tracked due to the high degree of loss normally associated to that particular growth phase. Plants are immature, vegetative, or flowering.  All plants must enter the system through immature plant batches.

 

The plant tag has the following information printed on the tag:

  • The Application, either Medical (Yellow) or Retail (Blue)
  • The facility name 
  • The Business License number 
  • The Tag order date 
  • A UCC 128 bar-code that matches the ID number programmed on the RFID chip and the human readable ID number printed on the front
  • The unique 24 digit ID number for the plant   
  • The MED seal on the back 

 

The plant tags have the RFID inlay imbedded in between two layers of UV, water and smudge resistant materials to allow the tag to withstand the environment required for the plant to grow in. 

 

The Package Tag

 

Packages are created for immature plants, harvest batches or other packages. Package tags are RFID based as well. The package tags are standard pressure sensitive labels and also come on Medical (Yellow) and Retail (Blue) versions. 

The package tag has the following information printed on the tag:

  • The Application, either Medical (Yellow) or Retail (Blue)
  • The facility name 
  • The Business License number 
  • The Tag order date   

Remember:

Tags are ordered in Admin for each facility 

Plant and Package tags are available (and required) in a Cultivator/Producer.

Package tags are the only tags used in an MIP/Processor, Wholesaler, Medical Dispensary or

Retail facility

You will need package tags on ALL product that is transferred out of a facility. Transfers can not be created without the identification of the package ID number. 

All tags (both plant and package) are loaded in to your Metrc account and packaged when shipped in numeric order. The labels will be delivered in corresponding order to how they show in your account.

It is a good idea to remove and verify the tags you are using on a plant or package correspond to what you are tagging. 

Plant Tag & Attachment

 

The plant tag was created specifically for use with the Marijuana plant. The material composition is designed for a wet high UV environment. The plant tags come in sequential order and are placed into the shipping box in a fan folded format that matches the order they will be received in your Metrc account. Tags are perforated and  have die cut holes to place the tag attachment device through. The following pictures and accompanying instructions demonstrate how the tags are to be used with the different growth phases in the plants growth cycles. 

Step 1 – Open the perforated holes in tag

Step 2 – Attach Strap through 1st hole

Step 3 – Attach Strap through 2nd hole

Final Assembly 

Because of the nature and size of the immature plants physically attaching the tag to the plant would not be feasible therefore the pointed end of the attachment device was created to insert into the growth medium as shown in the picture below. 

Once the immature plant moves into the Veg stage and becomes large enough to support the tag, the assembly can be adjusted to physically attached to the plant.  

Step 1 – Remove one end of the strap from one hole

Step 2 – Wrap the Strap around a supporting branch of the plant

Step 3 – Attach Strap into the locking mechanism 

Package Tags

 

A package tag is defined as any amount of marijuana or marijuana infused products that may be sold, processed or transferred and must be placed into one or more containers, each container having its own  unique RFID tag. This includes but is not limited to all bud, shake and infused products and or concentrates. Any product you intend to transfer must have a package tag. 

 

The Package Tag is perforated with the upper and lower information being the same.

The Package tag breaks into 2 pieces:

  • The larger potion stays with the original package or container. 
  • The lower portion can be attached to another device such as a container at retail or on intake paperwork at a MIP/Processor or Testing Lab.

Tag Orders

 

Ordering Tags in Metrc is a simple process however it is very important to pay close attention when placing your order. Once a tag order is submitted it can only be canceled before 10pm MST on the day that you place the order. Metrc tags are custom printed for each facility and as such can not be returned once the printing process has begun and are non-refundable; so it is strongly advised that you be sure orders are placed for the correct facility, amount and type of tags required. 

Additional notes about tag ordering: 

  • Tags are ordered from the Admin function
  • Tags can be ordered via Credit Card, check or money order 
  • Payment information is not required to be the licensee or the business owner
  • Each facility must have billing information entered. You can choose to ship to a different location (No PO Boxes) • Tags will be sent by UPS 
  • Tag cost .45 plant & strap or .25 package
  • You can request expedited shipping if you would like. UPS Air (1-3 business days) or Overnight as well as Saturday delivery are available at your expense. Please contact the support line at [email protected] or 877-566-6506 to expedite your tag order. 
  1. Order History. This will show all of the details on previously placed orders. See tag order history screen for more details. 
  2. New Tag Order button. New Tag Order button is used to begin a new tag order process.
  3. Order Number. Order Number shows the specific Order Number created once the order is completed .
  4. Tag Order Date. Tag Order Date shows the time the order was placed into Metrc. 
  5. Status. Status shows the current status of an order. Order status can be: Pending (waiting on payment), Paid, Printing, Printed or Shipped.
  6. Total. Total shows the total amount of the order including shipping. 
  7. Amount Paid. Amount Paid is the total amount paid for the Tag Order.
  8. Tracking Number. Tracking Number will display the UPS tracking number(s) of the order.
  9. User. User shows the name of the person who placed the order.
  10. Payment button. Allows you to select or alter the method of payment up until it says "printing" on the tag order screen.
  11. Void button. Void button is used to void a current order. If you choose to void a tag order it must be done before 10pm MST on the day that you place the order.   If you choose to void an order you will be prompted to do so in the following screen:
  12. Receive button. When orders have been shipped and physically received you will need to receive the tags into your metrc account by selecting the receive tags button. By selecting this button the tag ID numbers will show in your Metrc account in the pull down menus in the tag areas. 

  New Tag Order

  1. Facility Licens#. Facility License # is auto populated and will show what facility is currently ordering tags.
  2. Physical Address. Physical Address is auto populated with the facility address on file with the State. 
  3. Plant Tag Amount. The Plant Tag Amount box is where the amount of plant tags being ordered is entered. Plant tags can only be ordered for Cultivator/Producer.
  4. Package Tag Amount. Package Tag Amount box is where the amount of package tags being ordered is entered. 
  5. x button. X button clears the current amount entered into the box to clear it so a new amount may be entered.
  6. Subtotal. Subtotal shows the subtotal amount for the tags that are being ordered before shipping/handling and taxes are added.
  7. Contact Name. Contact Name field is auto populated with the name of the Occupational Badge holder that is logged into Metrc ordering the tags.
  8. Phone Number. Phone Number is used to enter the facility phone number.
  9. Facility button. Facility button is used to auto populate the facility address to be the same as the physical address.
  10. Shipping Address area. Shipping Address area is used to either enter a different address from the physical address noted above or can be auto populated when you click the Facility button above. 
  11. Totals Area. Totals Area lists all totals for Shipping/Handling, Taxes and Total Amount including Tags, Shipping/Handling, and Taxes combined.
  12. Credit Card Option. Credit Card Option is used to choose to pay for your tag order with a credit card. This includes Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
  13. Check or Money Order Option. Check or Money Order Option is used to choose to pay for your tag order with a credit card. When this option is clicked, the address where to send your payment to is shown.
  14. Include a note. Include a note field is not a field that is used at all at this time. Please do not include any notes. 
  15. Note. Note is used to give important information regarding tag orders for all facilities.
  16. Place Order button. Place Order button is used to actually place the tag order for a specific facility.
  17. Cancel button. Click this button to exit the screen without saving any data.

  Tag Order History Screen
  1. Current/History Tab. Current Tab is used to show current tag orders that have been placed but not yet received. By selecting the History tab you will be directed to a screen where you can see all activity for previous orders that have been received. 
  2. Historical Information. Included in the History is the Order Number, Date, Status, Price, Tracking Number and the person who placed the order. 

  Receiving your Tags into Metrc

 

A facility will not automatically receive the tag ID's into their system after placing an order. After tag orders are placed and shipped the tag ID number will become available. The indicator for the ID number availability is when a user can see  the "Receive " button visible in the tag order screen. This is a security feature to prevent the tags from becoming diverted or used by anyone other than the licensee who ordered the tags.

  1. Receive button . Select this button to populate tag ID numbers into the system. The receive button will be visible on the left side of the screen that corresponds to the order number. After selecting the receive button you will see a final confirmation window prompt similar to the picture below. 


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