Government CIO Outlook: Metrc: Changing the Face of the U.S. Cannabis Industry

Even though several attempts have been made by authorities to curb the cheaper illicit cannabis market or “black market”, the outcomes are far from optimum. Given that building a legal regime fast enough to contain a high-demand product is a daunting task, what regulators need in aid is a way to ensure a closed and transparent legal ecosystem throughout the supply chain. They need cutting-edge technology and partners with abundant technical acumen to enable seamless tracking of cannabis products, from seed to sale.

Set against this background, Metrc—a leading solution provider for cannabis governance—helps regulators successfully track cannabis products throughout the supply chain. Having taken roots as a supply chain solution provider for the pharma and the agriculture industry, the company today has moved the needle in cannabis governance with its cutting-edge software, RFID technology, and support teams. “Our solution has been designed for regulators, by regulators to address all the challenges that they come across while defining the legal parameters for cannabis growing, selling, and buying,” says Jeff Wells, the CEO at Metrc.

On a mission to streamline data-driven regulation and compliance, Metrc offers reliable and easy-to-use RFID tags with unique identifiers (UID) that licensees attach to a plant in its nascent stage until they are harvested. Once harvested and turned into products, other package tags will be assigned to continue tracking throughout the supply chain. These RFID tags hold crucial information—location, harvests, testing, packing, and many others—about the plants and the final products that regulators can easily track in real-time by entering a UID in the Metrc software. “All the necessary insights into cannabis growth, transportation, and sales are presented before regulators through a single pane of glass,” says Wells.

All the necessary insights into cannabis growth, transportation, and sales are presented before regulators through a single pane of glass

Metrc’s regulatory compliance system also holds immense importance in this COVID-19 pandemic. With “shelter-at-home” edicts, many players in the cannabis industry have started to offer curbside pick-up service. Tracking such activities has turned out to be a complicated affair for regulators. Leveraging the Metrc software and its RFID technology, they can make more data-driven decisions and emergency regulation adjustments in a more streamlined manner. “The cannabis industry has proved to be resilient during this COVID-19 pandemic, and cannabis legalization can be helpful for many states to rejuvenate the economy. We are always ready to simplify a state official’s job, no matter how complex the situation is,” Wells notes. He believes that the trend of cannabis delivery will grow steadily in the coming years, and Metrc’s regulatory compliance system will play a significant role in creating a safe ecosystem.

Backed by such a unique solution, the company is currently supporting 13 states, the District of Columbia, and over 15,000 business licenses. Recently, Metrc branched out to the State of Maine, where they have implemented the system within less than 60 days. What enables Metrc to serve its clients better is its unique team. With a 60 percent growth in their employee base last year, the company today consists of 130 seasoned professionals who strive hard to drive Metrc toward new alleys of success.

Striding ahead, Metrc is envisioning a global expansion, while keeping its focus on the U.S. market. The company is also investing time and effort to make the software more robust with better reporting capabilities. “Our tremendous success differentiates us from the rest. Instead of being a typical vendor, we strive hard to become the go-to partner for regulators, who can work round the clock to help them and the industry grow,” Wells concludes.

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