When it comes to marijuana legalization, one of the things that has helped us get this far is the many regulations set in place to closely monitor all activity when it comes to the product. Whether the fear is that someone will be stealing the plants to sell on the black market or just a fear of an unregulated product there is plenty of good reasons that a state looking to legalize would want a solid tracking system.
There are plenty of companies who have come out with seed-to-sale systems and many of them are operating smoothly around the country for different states with medical marijuana programs. However, only one is contracted for three of the four states to legalize recreational marijuana sales and consumption and that’s Franwell’s Metrc System.
Seed-to-Sale systems are designed to track the plant from the moment the seed is planted to the time it is sold in a dispensary. They generally have multiple forms of identification and are inventoried continuously throughout the process of cultivation, distribution and sale. The Metrc system uses three different types of identification, a barcode, a sequence of numbers and letters as well as RFID (radio frequency identification).
The RFID is the most important part since it makes inventorying product so incredible simple. The scanners used to read the tags can read them up to 10-15 feet away, meaning you can scan a whole room in minutes. This makes it easier not only to inventory large amounts of product but also to scan a room of plants without brushing up against them all trying to get to a bar code.
Franwell’s Metrc system might just be the one to top them all when it comes to ruling the retail cannabis market as Alaska has just signed on for a 5 year contract with the system. The contract is costing the state $105,000 and was finalized on March 7th – it will run through June 2021. The cost to those licensed in the industry will be $40 a month with an additional $0.45 for each plant tag and $0.25 per package tag.
The decision to go with the Metrc system was likely a very wise one on Alaska’s part. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? They are putting their trust in a system that was designed specifically for the Colorado recreational marijuana market when it first started up, so they’ve had time to work out all the finer details – all they have to do is get the rest of their regulations squared away and sales will begin before we know it.