Introduction to Metrc Traceability Tags

Breaking Down Metrc Traceability Tags

If you live in a state that utilizes Metrc for its seed-to-sale traceability needs, you’ve likely had to deal with Metrc Tags. Metrc Tags are a key part of staying legally compliant in Metrc-partnered state markets. But what are Metrc tags, what do they look like, and what are they for? In this article we break down these critical traceability tags.

What Is A Metrc Tag?

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

There are two kinds of Metrc tags: Plant Tags, and Package Tags.

Plant Tags are the physical RFID tags that contain the UID and license information. Plant Tags are physically attached to plants at the time they are put into the vegetative state. Each plant tag must stay associated with its plant through all growth cycles to the point where it is finished and packaged.

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 stickers.

Package Tags are the physical RFID stickers that contain the UID and license information. Package Tags are physically attached to a package upon creation of the package.

Parts Of A Metrc Tag

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.

Metrc Tag Diagram

diagram of labeled Metrc tags
Labeled diagram of Metrc Traceability Tag parts.

How Do Metrc Tags 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.

grey and teal icon representing seed-to-sale and traceability software

RFID tags contain a chip that enables them to interact with radio frequency queries from an RFID reading device, which can have a range of up to 15 feet.

Metrc uses these codes to monitor the weight, location, and transfers of products through a cloud-based traceability system designed for regulatory agencies within a given state. You can learn more about Traceability, a.k.a. Track-and-Trace, software in our article, What is Traceability?

Where Do You Get Metrc Tags?

Licensed operators need to both order and receive their Metrc UID tags directly within the Metrc platform.

Once ordered, shipping can take several days, so be prepared to wait before taking the next steps to move forward. When physical tags have arrived, operators should log in to Metrc to receive the tags digitally before attaching them to your plants and products.

What Do You Do With Metrc Tags?

Metrc Tags are attached to all plants and products, and must be visible at all times to be compliant. Once you’ve gotten your Metrc plant tags, and have digitally received them within the Metrc platform, the next step is to physically tag all your cannabis plants.

Typically, operators use plastic zip-ties, attachments, or stakes to keep Plant tags affixed to plants, while Package tag stickers are placed, or taped, onto the outside of product packages.

illustrations of cannabis plants with metrc tags

Why Are Metrc Tags Important?

In states that utilize the Metrc traceability system, all plants and products must have Metrc traceability tags attached at all times to remain legally compliant.

This is because track-and-trace services are meant to prevent legal cannabis from being diverted into the black market or illegal sales. As a result, all licensed operators within Metrc state markets are responsible for staying on top of their track-and-trace reporting from seed to sale.

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 Metrc & Cultivera​

The Cultivera Ecosystem works by keeping data synced between Cultivera and Metrc at all times, making it easy to stay Metrc-compliant. You can learn more about the Metrc track-and-trace system on the Cultivera Blog, or in our free downloadable Introductory Guide to Metrc.

Need more help? Book a demo with one of our experts for a one-on-one walkthrough of how Cultivera’s seed-to-sale software solutions can help your operation succeed with Metrc.

Cultivera offers vertically-integrated operations and business management software with robust analytics, streamlined, reporting, and automated workflows from seed to sale, making compliance simple at every stage. Request a one-on-one demo today and our experts can show you exactly how we streamline Metrc workflows, and how Cultivera’s automations make compliance easier.

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Our experts can show you exactly how we streamline Metrc workflows, and how Cultivera's automations make compliance easier.
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