Whether you’re new to the industry or have been involved for a long time, Metrc compliance forms a major part of your daily responsibilities. In Oregon, Metrc compliance is mandatory so you need to know how it works from start to finish.
This quick start guide is all about getting you in the right headspace to understand what Metrc is, how it works, and what your first steps need to be. Once you’re comfortable with the basics, take a look at our Oregon Metrc page and chat to our team — our platform helps you eliminate a lot of the double entry and time wasted on Metrc!
Metrc is an acronym for Marijuana Enforcement Tracking and Compliance, a Cannabis Tracking System (CTS) which tracks marijuana distribution from seed-to-sale. Metrc establishes a closed, legal system, discouraging black market sales and tightening security of regulated cannabis markets.
Seed-to-sale tracking has become the standard throughout the industry. As the name would suggest, it tracks product from the original seeds being planted, through cultivation, processing, packing, shipping and eventual sale. For every gram, gummy and concentrate sold, there’s a complete history of exactly where that cannabis came from, all the way back to the seeds. This is handled using RFID tags for both plants and end products. These tags mean tracking product movement is as simple as scanning items at the grocery store — Metrc handles the rest.
Because Metrc tracks the entire process from start to finish, it also makes it much easier to deal with product recalls if they’re ever required. You have a single point of truth that can be referenced to see exactly where that product came from and if you have any in stock that you need to deal with.
Metrc also documents chain of custody, so that employees and other individuals can be held accountable for errors while working with your product, and your company can be shielded to an extent from unjustified lawsuits. For instance, if a customer alters your product after sale and claims they received it from your business in an altered state, you will have documented proof that such a claim is impossible.
From a business management point of view, Metrc also helps keep everything tracked and organized, reducing costly calculating errors and removing the need for a sea of spreadsheets.
Finally, Metrc helps consolidate numerous forms and procedures, helping businesses to ease inspection, auditing and reporting burdens. Without Metrc, business owners would need to submit many different forms in various formats to far-flung governmental entities. Now, with Metrc, compliance paperwork is all digital and all in one place.
To sell marijuana legally in the state of Oregon, the OLCC requires that all licensed Cannabis businesses must use Metrc. This includes growers, manufacturers, testing facilities, transport providers and dispensaries. No other options are available to legal cannabis businesses.
When undergoing training, first time users must enroll in training courses on Metrc’s website. These courses are essential, and provide an understanding of Metrc’s cannabis tracking system. All business owners and essential employees should sign up for these online training sessions at their earliest convenience.
While all essential employees should be familiar with the Metrc ecosystem, the cost to use the system is allocated by business license. So, a business with 30 employees would only pay for one Metrc license.
In Oregon, OLCC covers all but the cost of RFID tags ($0.45 per plant tag and $0.25 per package tag). While these costs can add up, consider it part of the permit process, helping to protect cannabis business and consumers. It is unavoidable if you want to run a successful, legal cannabis business in Oregon.
No, Metrc is the only CTS option allowed in the state of Oregon. Any lapse in use of Metrc may result in your business being fined or closed entirely.
Let’s be real about it: Metrc is cumbersome and forces you to do a lot of double-handling of data (which is just asking for human error). Thankfully, integrations like Distru are a legal way to streamline all of this and make compliance that much easier.
These integrations don’t replace Metrc but they do allow you to manage several business-critical things from one place. For example, with Distru you can handle Metrc, Quickbooks and POS all from our platform. That means a cleaner interface, less work, reduced chance of human error, smarter reporting and a happier team overall. What’s not to love?
Now that you have a good idea of how it all works, the next step is to sign up for Metrc training. Head on over to the official Metrc website and choose a date that works for you.
This training will guide you through everything you need to know to get your cannabis business up and running. As you’d expect we live and breathe all things Metrc. If you get stuck along the way, hit that live chat button in the bottom right corner of this page, we’d love to help.