METRC and Cannabis POS Integrations: What Dispensary Owners Need to Know

by Mike Conor

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METRC provides HIPAA-compliant seed-to-sale tracking to dispensaries and regulators.

In California, Maryland, and other states throughout the country, voters approved cannabis legislation on several strict conditions. Industry regulation is one of the most important provisions attached to medical and recreational marijuana laws. These states promised voters that there would be a robust supply chain system in place, keeping cannabis products out of the wrong hands.

Seed-to-sale tracking is the primary way states expect to keep marijuana from being diverted to the black market and minors. It allows dispensaries and regulators to keep tabs on every individual cannabis plant being cultivated in the state and to determine the movement of each plant through the marketplace.

Multiple platform developers have put forth bids for lucrative seed-to-sale state contracts. The largest of these is Franwell, whose METRC solution is the tool of choice for 11 US states, including California, Colorado, Oregon, and Maryland.

What Is METRC?

METRC is a cloud-hosted compliance management solution that allows regulators and law enforcement agencies to oversee the marijuana industry in their state. It is a web application and service platform that integrates sales data with industry and regulatory information to account for an entire state’s cannabis market.

METRC allows cannabis cultivators, processors, dispensaries, testing facilities, and regulators to interact with one another in real-time, scanning plants and packages as they move through the marketplace. Without a system like this in place, effectively managing the production and sale of cannabis products would require an enormous bureaucratic workforce, which would drive the cost of doing business towards unsustainable heights.

With METRC, tagged plant data can be captured and entered into the cloud-based system. Regulators can then follow each individual plant through the harvesting, processing, testing, packaging, distribution, and sales processes. As a result, consumers, regulators, and law enforcement can look at any cannabis product and immediately determine which specific plant it ultimately derives from.

The medical marijuana industry follows the same rules as pharmaceutical companies regarding HIPAA compliance. METRC provides cannabis professionals with a ready-to-use, HIPAA-compliant reporting platform.

How to Use METRC in the Dispensary

For dispensary owners, using METRC can seem like a tedious, repetitive task that stretches already-thin employee-hours to their limit. Every single incoming product must be entered into the system, and every sale must be accounted for. 

This is too much work for a cashier or budtender to accomplish while serving customers and patients at the same time. Dispensary owners who try this tactic quickly learn that it leads to problematic wait times, data entry irregularities, and potentially ruinous compliance issues.

To use METRC effectively, dispensary owners need to automate their point-of-sale (POS) solution at key integration points with the system. Seed-to-sale data should automatically populate inside METRC whenever a budtender scans a cannabis product barcode.
EZGreen Compliance makes this possible by providing dispensaries with an open API for seed-to-sale integration. Fully integrated, HIPAA-compliant point-of-sale software ensures that cannabis dispensary owners can enter inventory data, report sales, and complete packages automatically, giving regulators all the information they need while streamlining the in-store experience for patients and customers.

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