What is Metrc?

The Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance (METRC) is a track-and-trace system used for tracking recreational and medical use of cannabis products. METRC has secured 13 government contracts from states in the US with more coming online yearly. Metrc has become the market leader for this type of software and with a robust 3rd party API for external data submission, it is positioned to become the state tracking standard for all US cannabis products. 

METRC, a product started under the tracking software company -  Franwell, was launched in 2013 for tracking cannabis plants and products using RFID embedded barcode tags. States that mandate the use of Metrc require all cannabis companies to report all of their cannabis plants or products inside the Metrc track-and-trace system and to conform to the Metrc data standards. Each state has their own requirements and processes with a unique instance of the Metrc platform. This allows the local government agencies to monitor the entire cannabis supply-chain. 

“Metrc is first and foremost a regulatory compliance system, unlike any application on the market. Built by regulators specifically for oversight; Metrc provides the necessary visibility for adherence to rules, regulations and statutes.” 

Licensed business owners in the cannabis industry submit data from their business in order to remain compliant with Metrc, not doing so results in large fines. Once they’ve completed their Metrc certification, business owners gain access to the Metrc online portal, where they input data correlating to their inventory and bringing clarity to seed-to-sale supply chains.

Do I need METRC?

If you are in the Cannabis industry as a cultivator, distributor, manufacturer, or dispensary in any of the following states then you need to use Metrc for regulatory reporting. 

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Washington, DC

As of 2020, cannabis companies are now required to only transfer products to other companies using the Metrc system and you must follow their rules to remain compliant with state regulations. Companies are required to have Metrc certification and training to start using the system.

The Basics

The purpose of Metrc is tracking plants and processed products through the entire life-cycle from plants and cannabis products with batch ID's that can be traced and linked together. Metrc tracks various points in the process of cultivation, to manufacturing or processing, to distribution, and ending at retail. Examples of these stages tracked are: Plant Phases (Immature, Vegetative, or Mature), Package UIDs, Lab Testing information, transferring information to generate manifests, and final inventory sales to end users. Everything is tracked during the process via Metrc Barcodes which are all equipped with an internal RFID chip. Everything is mapped with a specific barcode or UID that follows the plants through certain phase changes and may be transferred to package tags. All of this information on phase changing gets entered via the Metrc web app in the Metrc portal for a given state. (An alternative to simplify the data entry is using a seed-to-sale system like Canix)

Examples of both recreational and medical plant tags for immature, vegetative, and/or flowering plants.

Get Started With METRC

There are specific state-by-state instructions for getting a METRC certification. Once a state license is issued for a cannabis company, it must register with Metrc and apply to take the training classes to be issued logins. Once the appropriate training classes are taken, all business operations must be logged in Metrc in the web application or via the API with a 3rd party system. 

3rd Party API Access

A unique feature of Metrc is their external API which is accessible by validated 3rd parties in each state. Metrc works with these 3rd parties to provide access to the internal data for any cannabis company using the system with their Metrc API key. This allows seed-to-sale companies like Canix to retrieve information from Metrc and push new information into Metrc. By doing this, Metrc is able to focus on track-and-trace functions and cannabis companies can replace Metrc usage with a seed-to-sale system for business operations.   

If you have any questions regarding Metrc in your state, contact us at Canix and we will provide you with information to help keep your cannabis company compliant