Y502K – Marijuana Traceability is OFFLINE in Washington

UPDATE: The Traceabiliity system will be offline until January 2nd!!!

Failure:  “all critical tasks will not be complete by the end of our contract with the current vendor on Oct. 31, 2017”

The Washington State Cannabis tracking software (Seed-to-Sale) will be degraded starting Oct 25th, and then completely offline Oct 29th.  MJ Freeway will perhaps have their system online Oct 31st – even if that system is missing features/requirements that currently exist.  There is a complete electronic supply chain system that is being disrupted here, affecting 1500 businesses and hundreds of thousands of dollars of daily tax revenues for the state.

Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) has decided to switch vendors, from BioTrackTHC to MJ Freeway.  BioTrackTHC has been operating this core system for the LCB since January 2014 (I think). 100% of the cannabis businesses in the state are required to report their operational data to this system – plants, inventory, processes, transfers, retail sales — hundreds of data points, on thousands of operations from roughly 1500 licensed operators.  MJ Freeway/Leaf Data is the new vendor, who was supposed to be operational with a Test system at the beginning of October and didn't deliver that.  Now it appears the system will be offline, completely and we are unclear of the status of the new software and if it will even be operational.

The LCB has provided a “contingency plan” which has the licensed operators recording their transactions in a spreadsheet and then uploading that to the LCB on a weekly basis.  Completely ridiculous plan.  They would have the operators try to manually generate unique numbers for products, introduce a new numbering scheme, change the reporting from near-real-time-online system to SPREADSHEETS.  The state of the art is just now catching up to thirty years ago, I hope they accept submissions on floppy disk.

This introduces so many problems, each would need their own post to cover, but I'll list them briefly

  • Everyone was dependent on unique identifiers generated from the LCB for tracking, that will be offline
  • This blocks Harvest, Cure processes, Batch creation, all the supply side processing
  • Electronic Manifests – that's how product gets to the retailer
  • Dozens of software add-ons and tools built around this industry have crazy project disruptions.
  • Lack of regulatory system creates huge opportunity for diversion, untaxed sales: one of the core reasons this system exists
  • The spreadsheet method the State provided is labor intensive and very error prone

The LCB has their latest updates here: https://lcb.wa.gov/mjtrace/reporting

The State CIO has this to say: https://waocio.secure.force.com/ProjectDetail?id=a060P00000ezEk1QAE

For those of you on WeedTraQR, we will remain online and fully operational during the change over; our system will operate as normal, generate proper IDs and update documents for the LCB.  We will have a complete audit trail of your activity during this time and whenever the new system finally gets online we'll be working to make sure you are meeting your regulatory compliance obligations.