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Understanding Franwell’s Metrc Traceability System

When voters took to the polls over the last few years and demonstrated their support for a legal cannabis industry, they also demanded a solid accountability system be put in place.

For most states, this accountability solution takes the form of an integrated seed-to-sale traceability system that accounts for the entire cannabis market. It ensures that regulated, certified marijuana products make their way to consumers through legitimate enterprises.

Cannabis dispensaries in 12 states (plus the District of Columbia) use a system called Metrc, developed by a company named Franwell. Dispensary owners in any of these territories must become well-acquainted with using Metrc to avoid non-compliance.

What is Metrc?

Metrc stands for Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting & Compliance. It is a cloud-based compliance management solution. Regulatory institutions in multiple states require cannabis industry organizations to submit data to the Metrc system in order to fulfill their legal seed-to-sale tracking obligations.

Metrc users interact with the platform through an online web portal. Users log on, report information, and confirm their data inside the cloud-based software application. There is no need to purchase additional hardware or other equipment to access Metrc, but it can be helpful.

Metrc’s primary focus is determining where cannabis plants and products are moving within a given state’s cannabis industry. This agricultural tracking software monitors the weight and location of every cannabis plant and product in the state and keeps a record of every transfer of ownership that occurs.

This is useful for state cannabis regulators because it provides a robust defense against product diversion towards the black market and extra-territorial sales. Metrc helps ensure that legitimately grown cannabis products aren’t sold to children or carried across state lines.

Metrc’s application ecosystem includes the web portal, a variety of browser-based web services, a mobile application used for on-site inspection, and a different mobile application for cannabis industry users. It also supports third-party vendors through API support.

What Metrc Isn’t

While Metrc is an impressive tool in many ways, it’s important that dispensary owners understand what it doesn’t do. Metrc’s main purpose is capturing and reporting transactional data to regulators – not offering data-driven insight and inventory control to dispensary owners.

Although Metrc gathers and reports business-critical data, it isn’t designed to streamline the process of obtaining value from that data. It does not replace a dispensary’s point-of-sale system, inventory tracking software, or customer relationship management solution.

Those business-critical systems complement Metrc – not the other way around. Dispensary owners who invest in state-of-the-art data infrastructure will enjoy secure, scalable growth while streamlining their compliance processes.

This makes sense because dispensary owners aren’t the ones who contract Franwell to create and deploy the Metrc system. Franwell’s customers are the state governments whose regulatory needs demand a comprehensive technology solution like Metrc, and its primary concern is serving its customers’ interests.

  • Capture or Centralize Business Data. Although Metrc captures important data for retail business intelligence, it doesn’t provide any visibility into that data. That simply is not its purpose. Dispensaries have to invest in complementary third-party solutions that offer this functionality and then connect those systems to Metrc.
  • Track Cash Flow, Customer Data, or Vendor Relationships. Metrc offers no overview concerning revenue, cash spent, tax liability, or customer preferences. There is no support whatsoever for non-cannabis inventory because regulators are not interested in non-cannabis products.
    Validate Incoming Data to Protect Dispensary Owners. Metrc allows users to report faulty, discrepant data without warning. The only notification users receive will come from suspicious regulators announcing an audit or a surprise inspection.
  • Produce Comprehensive Reports for Users. Metrc gives regulators the ability to generate comprehensive reports, but not users. You cannot use it to produce a historical inventory valuation, which is problematic because that’s exactly what regulators would ask for in the event of an audit.

Metrc’s architecture and functionality serve one purpose – determining if dispensaries are compliant or not. Every state’s Metrc instance is unique, often because every state’s specific regulatory requirements differ from one another. Integrating Metrc into your dispensary’s workflow requires knowing what data your state is relying on the software to report.

Which States Does Metrc Cover?

Metrc covers thirteen American territories. Since the laws and regulations of each territory are different, Metric implementation is necessarily different at a state-to-state level. This fragmentation of the Metrc system can be confusing for first-time users, but ultimately helps maintain an organized compliance structure while reducing the risk of product traveling across state borders illegally.

Some of the important things you need to know about each state’s unique implementation of Metrc include:

Connecticut chooses BioTrack as the state’s cannabis seed-to-sale tracking software

Forian Inc. (NASDAQ: FORA), a provider of technology, analytics and data science driven solutions for the healthcare and cannabis industries, announced that Connecticut has chosen BioTrack as the track and trace system for the state’s Department of Consumer Protection Drug Control Division.

The state plans to use the BioTrack inventory tracking system to monitor the movement of cannabis products in the state’s medical and adult-use cannabis markets, while providing a real-time inventory of cannabis products available in the state and preventing unlawful diversion of products.

The BioTrack software, commonly referred to as seed-to-sale tracking, will track cannabis from when it is first planted as a seed to the point of sale to the consumer. All licensed medical marijuana and adult-use cannabis establishments will be required to participate in the tracking system and log the movement of cannabis as it is grown, manufactured into other products, packaged, tested, and sold to qualifying patients or consumers. BioTrack’s state traceability system will also help recall cannabis plants and products deemed as unsafe/adulterated, and prevent adulterated and regulated materials from reaching the black market.

“Connecticut has shown their desire to be at the forefront of cannabis by looking for best-in-class software solutions. We are very excited to work with the state to develop new technologies to support their cannabis-related initiatives,” said Moe Afaneh, VP of BioTrack.

BioTrack’s point-of-sale software is used by customers in 38 states and 10 countries, while 10 state governments, including Connecticut, currently use BioTrack's patient portal and traceability system.

About Forian

Forian Inc. provides a unique suite of SaaS solutions, data management capabilities and proprietary data and analytics to optimize and measure operational, clinical and financial performance for customers within the traditional and emerging life sciences, healthcare payer and provider segments, as well as cannabis dispensaries, manufacturers, cultivators and regulators. For more information, please visit the Company's website at www.forian.com.

Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. In this context, forward-looking statements often address expected future business and financial performance and financial condition, and often contain words such as "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "believe," "seek," "see," "will," "would," "target," similar expressions and variations or negatives of these words. Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that involve risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of Forian, and are not guarantees of future results, such as statements about the anticipated benefits of the business combination transaction involving Forian, Medical Outcomes Research Analytics, LLC and Helix Technologies, Inc., future financial and operating results, company strategy and intended product offerings and market positioning. These and other forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future results and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Accordingly, there are or will be important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in such statements and, therefore, you should not place undue reliance on any such statements and caution must be exercised in relying on forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include, but are not limited to, those risks and uncertainties associated with: the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Forian's business, operations, strategy and goals; Forian's ability to execute on its strategy; the timing of the introduction of new product offerings; and the additional risks and uncertainties set forth more fully under the caption "Risk Factors" in Forian's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, as filed with the SEC on March 31, 2021, and elsewhere in Forian's filings and reports with the SEC. Forward-looking statements contained in this announcement are made as of the date hereof, and Forian undertakes no duty to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable law.