Since state laws put an end to the prohibition on cannabis, regulation has been in place to capture data surrounding the growth of cannabis and each transaction from seed to sale. State governments utilize METRC to track all of these transactions, thus enabling regulation of the cannabis market and enforcement of state laws surrounding marijuana sales and growth. The Marijuana Enforcement Division (or MED) is responsible for enforcing these laws, and they’ve formed a multi-million dollar contract with Franwell to build out METRC. However, METRC didn’t take off without a hitch…
Old Issues With METRC
METRC isn’t perfect; in fact, most users note that it’s far from an ideal system. Take this article published in Boulder Weekly, entitled “High anxiety: The state of a highly regulated industry.” In the article, Read Spear, an author and cannabis consultant, notes, “This industry has been regulated into absurdity,” and METRC is part of that problem. The article’s author, Cecilia Gilboy, tells us, “Before Franwell [the creators of METRC] came along, everyone used point-of-sale (POS) software. Now they enter everything doubly, in two separate sets of software, because METRC doesn’t provide POS software.” Problems don’t stop there. METRC-user and co-owner of Trill Alternatives, John Caraluzzi, expands: “We spend $20,000 a year on METRC, and we’re a small company.” Cannabis industry businesses are required to pay an annual subscription to use METRC (which is currenlty $250), and the cost of RFID tags (which are currently 25 cents per tag)—which are necessary to track every “package” or plant, as well as testing fees. So, on top of poor usability, METRC is oddly expensive. Now, fortunately, things have changed since the advent of METRC. The aforementioned article was published in 2014, and since then, METRC has seen an overhaul; third-party companies have filled the obvious gap between compliance and convenience, providing user-friendly point of sale systems that make tracking less of a nightmare.
New Solutions in POS Systems
Point of sale systems are an absolute necessity for recreational and medical marijuana sales. Without a METRC-integrated POS system, your business will be bogged down with METRC data entry, on top of point of sale data entry, effectively doubling the workload. Fortunately, METRC-integrated POS systems are entering the market. Take greenbits and Flowhub point of sale systems for instance. These third-party POS systems are designed specifically for cannabis sales. Since these systems push information through to METRC, logging sales is far simpler. A cashier can record a transaction with a few touches of the screen. These POS systems also include innovative APIs (software that can be easily modified by the user) which aid business owners in creating a store-tracking platform that is unique to the individual business and its products. What’s more, new POS systems enable access across devices. So, business owners can monitor sales and supply remotely. Investing in a cannabis-industry POS system is becoming a necessary component of cannabis retail, since these systems ensure compliance, aid employee efficiency, and boost customer satisfaction. Without a POS solution, you’ll be behind the cannabis retail curve.
METRC Risks & Your POS System
Compliance is crucial for any cannabis industry business. With shifting legislation, rigid enforcement, and huge fines as well as penalties for illegal activity, it is well within a business owners’ best interests to invest in a METRC-integrated POS system. Moreover, cannabis industry businesses should seek professional consultation to stay informed of changes in regulation, METRC processes, and the technology available in the industry. If you’re seeking to stay ahead of the curve, you can count on Evolutionz for our cannabis industry business consulting services.