An Introduction to Metrc: Part One

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What It Is & Why It Matters

Many US state marijuana regulation agencies utilize one particular track-and-trace software: Metrc. Over the last year, the network of states utilizing this system for their local cannabis traceability needs has continued to expand. In this blog series, we’d like to offer an introduction to Metrc, exploring how it works, and why it matters.

So, what is Metrc, and how does it apply to your licensed cannabis operation? Read on to learn the most important basics that you’ll need to know about this common traceability system.

illustration of cannabis plants with traceability tags
source: metrc.com

What is Metrc?

The letters M.E.T.R.C. stand for Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance. The Metrc software system centers around a web portal, with browser-based services as well as mobile applications.

The system is built to help state regulatory offices manage legal cannabis traceability information and reporting throughout the supply chain.

graphic showing metrc logo and kilogram logo with text This Metrc, Not This One
Metrc or Metric?

How Does It Work?

Metrc uses radio frequency identification technology to track cannabis plants and products throughout the seed-to-sale pipeline. This monitors the movement of cannabis within a legal market with the use of plant tags featuring Unique Identifier (UID) codes. Metrc monitors the weight, location, and transfers of cannabis through a cloud-based traceability system designed for regulatory agencies within a given state. 

visual example of a metrc plant tag
examples of metrc plant tags

Licensed cannabis operations submit data regularly to the Metrc system in order to remain legally compliant with their state licensing agency.

Every state in the network has different regulations and workflows. This means operators will need to know the details specific to their location. As a validated software provider, Cultivera integrates with every available API Metrc offers, making it easier to stay compliant with your local regulatory body.

What States Use Metrc?

Currently, seventeen US territories currently use Metrc as their cannabis traceability solution. All cannabis operators in these states must submit data into the system on a regular basis. This is required for them to remain legally compliant with their state licensing agency.

map showing US states that use Metrc for traceability solutions highlighted in green
US map with metrc states in green
source: metrc.com

States within this network as of this publication include: Alaska; California; Colorado; Louisiana; Massachusetts; Maryland; Michigan; Missouri; Montana; Nevada; Ohio; Oregon; and DC.

But Metrc is being adopted by more states every quarter. For example, Oklahoma, Maine, and West Virginia all announced plans to adopt Metrc late last year. We’ve experienced traceability system transitions like this before, and developed a Pre-Metrc Environment to minimize disruption to business operations, saving our customers time and money.

Why Traceability Matters

Illustration of potted cannabis plant with a metrc tag set near a window
source: metrc.com

In general, track-and-trace services are meant to prevent legal cannabis from being diverted into the black market or illegal sales.

By using traceability software, regulatory bodies can monitor the movements of cannabis plants and products within their market, ensuring that operators are staying compliant with local laws and regulations. Failure to maintain compliance can result in hefty fines, license suspension, or license revocation.

Metrc‘s purpose is to serve as a reporting and tracking system for regulatory agencies looking to prevent the illegal sale of cannabis. The system has a proven track record of assisting regulatory bodies in identifying bad actors and deterring subversion from the legal regulated markets. 

illustration of a business operator scans metrc package tags in a greenhouse
source: metrc.com

But What Does This Have To Do With My Business?

A lot, if your business is in one of the many states who use Metrc for their cannabis traceability needs. The success of your cannabis operation will depend on staying legally compliant with your local laws and reporting accurately to Metrc. To succeed, your operation needs to maintain efficient workflows within the system, as well as how it relates to real-world physical traceability.

All licensed operators within Metrc state markets are responsible for staying on top of their track-and-trace reporting from seed to sale. On top of consistent data entry and reporting, Cultivation enterprises need to purchase plant and inventory tags directly from Metrc, which are assigned to plants and products.

If a plant or product doesn’t have a unique identifier tag at any point, it is not compliant. Failure to stay compliant with any local regulations through designated track-and-trace systems like Metrc can lead to fines or license suspension at the least.

This means prioritizing your Metrc compliance is a must. Cultivera makes this compliance easy, tracking your plant tag UIDs throughout the seed to sale cycle.

Learn more about your state compliance requirements on the Metrc website.

Need More Than An Introduction to Metrc?

If you’d like more than just an introduction to the Metrc track-and-trace system, or how Cultivera integrates with your local traceability, you can book a demo with a representative any time. Our experts can show you exactly how we streamline Metrc workflows, and how Cultivera Pro makes compliance easier.



This is part one of our Introduction to Metrc series, answering critical questions cannabis operators have about Metrc: What it Is; How it Works; Why it Matters; and How Cultivera Makes it Easy.

In Part Two, we explore Metrc’s limitations, and how Cultivera customers save time and money with our simplified integrations.

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