Frequently Asked Questions About Metrc

Answering Frequently Asked Questions About Metrc

As the number of states utilizing Metrc their official regulatory traceability system continues to increase, we know there are a lot of frequently asked questions out there. If your state is using Metrc traceability, it’s critical to understand what the system is, and how it works.

To help operators dealing with Metrc regulatory compliance across the country, we wanted to offer answers to some of the questions we are frequently asked about this common track-and-trace platform. So in this article, we’ll go over the top questions we get about Metrc.

Frequently Asked Questions About Metrc

What Is Metrc?

Metrc is a compliance system that provides regulators with real-time visibility into the cannabis supply chain. 

Metrc is the most common regulatory traceability system in the legal cannabis industry. The platform is built to help state regulatory offices manage legal cannabis traceability information and reporting throughout the supply chain. 

For more about what Metrc is, check out our Introduction to Metrc series.

What Does Metrc Stand For?

The letters in Metrc stand for Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance.

What Does Metrc Do?

Like most track-and-trace services, Metrc is 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.

Learn more about what Metrc does in An Introduction to Metrc Part One.

How Does Metrc Work?

Metrc uses radio frequency identification (RFID) 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. Licensed cannabis operations submit data regularly to the Metrc system in order to remain legally compliant with their state licensing agency.

We explore how Metrc works a little more in Part One of the Introduction to Metrc series.

Metrc traceability tags are unique identification tags used to track products within the legal cannabis industry.

These tags use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, and must be attached to each and every plant and product for any licensed cannabis operator to remain compliant with their state traceability requirements.

The parts of a Metrc tag include:

  • Facility Name
  • License Number
  • Tag Order Date
  • Plant Identification Number
  • Application Identifier (Medical/Retail/etc.)
Specific locations of each detail varies across states, meaning tags in Oklahoma will likely look slightly different from those in Colorado. However, across state markets Metrc tags are typically color-coded in yellow, for Medical licenses, or blue, for Retail/Recreational licenses.
 

Plant Tag Example

medical metrc plant tag sample
Sample Mock-up of a Metrc Traceability Tag

Package Tag Example

Metrc package tag sample
Sample mock-up of a Metrc Package Tag sticker.

What Doesn't Metrc Do?

Since Metrc software is developed to serve the needs of cannabis regulation agencies, their primary customers are the regulatory agencies themselves, not the cannabis operations that report data to Metrc.

Metrc is not a resource for cannabis businesses, and is not a sales, inventory, customer relationship management, or enterprise resource solution. 

Metrc does not offer any kind of point-of-sale (POS) system, and doesn’t provide inventory control, insights, or management. There’s also no way to actively track sales, cash flow, customer information, sales relationships, bills of materials, or vendor information.

Lastly, Metrc does not offer business intelligence. The platform does not allow users to view business analytics, insights, or generate comprehensive historical reports.

One important note is that Metrc does not validate data upon input. You have to be extra vigilant in your data entry and reporting to avoid inspections or audits, as the Metrc system will not warn you if you’ve entered discrepant information.

We explore these limitations in detail in Part Two of the Introduction to Metrc series.

Why Does Metrc Matter?

Metrc‘s purpose is to serve as a reporting and tracking system for regulatory agencies looking to prevent the illegal sale of cannabis. Because of this, 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.

Learn more about why Metrc is important for licensed business operators in Part Two of the Introduction to Metrc series.

Why Do I Need To Use Metrc?

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 and stay in business, your operation needs to maintain efficient workflows within the system, as well as how it relates to real-world physical traceability. 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.

We offer our top three pieces of advice for staying Metrc compliant in the blog article Three Steps to Metrc Success.

Who Uses Metrc?

States within this network as of this publication include: Alaska; California; Colorado; Louisiana; Massachusetts; Maine; Maryland; Michigan; Missouri; Montana; Minnesota; New Jersey; Nevada; Ohio; Oregon; DC; and now Oklahoma. However, Metrc continues to expand, and is being adopted by more states every year.

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's The Difference Between Metrc and Cultivera?

Occasionally, someone will ask why it’s beneficial for business operators to utilize seed-to-sale management software like Cultivera “on top of”  required Metrc traceability. Why use both?

The simple answer is that using Cultivera makes working with Metrc (and staying compliant) easier.

In the end, Metrc is a track-and-trace platform built to help regulatory agencies, not individual cannabis operators. Cultivera’s seed-to-sale solutions fill in the gaps the Metrc system leaves behind, and integrates with Metrc to make workflows, reporting, and overall compliance easier than ever.

You can learn more about the differences between track-and-trace and seed-to-sale management software in this video, as well as the blog article “Why Use Seed-to-Sale Software?

Where Do I Get Metrc-Compliant Products?

To stay legally compliant, all products must exist in the Metrc system. If you’re a retailer in a state that recently switched to Metrc traceability, it can be frustrating to find compliant product early in the transition.

The first step is to ask around. Although, thanks to advertising limitations, a search online might not get you very far. Traditional sales calls can be effective, but calling every potential vendor you can find can take hours, days, or weeks.

For licensed retailers looking for Metrc-verified inventory, we suggest checking out the Cultivera Market, where you can browse, and order, Metrc-compliant products available for B2B purchase in your state with just a few clicks.

How Does Cultivera Sync With Metrc?

The Cultivera Ecosystem works by keeping data synced between Cultivera and Metrc at all times, making it easy to stay Metrc-compliant.

All licensed operators within Metrc state markets are responsible for staying on top of their track-and-trace reporting from seed to sale. Cultivera makes working with Metrc easier.

One of the most important ways we do this is with our automated, 2-way sync process. This bi-directional data synchronization is unique to the Cultivera software, allowing for the tracking and reporting of all relevant data for your state regulators for compliance at each stage of the process.

In this blog article, we break down the details of how Cultivera syncs with Metrc, and how the sync process works.

How Do I Prepare For Metrc?

If your state is going through a transition towards Metrc traceability, there are typically three things you can definitely do to prepare:

  1. Metrc Training — Metrc consistently offers training sessions for business operators during the transition. These training sessions will always be your first step.
  2. Profile Setup — Logging into Metrc to set up your profile and configurations is often the first step after training.
  3. Ordering Tags — Plant and Product tags are required for all products in states that utilize Metrc traceability. These take both time and money, so it’s critical to plan accordingly.

If you use Cultivera for your seed-to-sale cultivation, inventory, or operations management, we can help your migration go as smoothly as possible. From additional training and support to automated onboarding services, and beyond, we make the transition a breeze.  

Beyond these primary steps, we share our three-step framework for Metrc and traceability compliance success in Three Steps to Metrc Success.

demo support person in laptop

Want To Know More?

Learn more about how Cultivera seed-to-sale solutions make Metrc and traceability compliance simpler in a free one-on-one demo with our experts. Click here to find a time slot that works for you!

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