Y502K – MJ Freeway Failed Launch (again)
Once again, MJ Freeway/Leaf Data Systems has failed to launch their platform for the State of Washington. Originally they had set a foolishly aggressive schedule of a November 1st, 2017 launch, which they failed. This was followed up by a second, aggressive schedule of January 1st, 2018. An announcement was made on December 22nd, 2017 that the January deadline would not be met.
In May we all knew that BioTrackTHC was out on October 31st. The RFP process went through and originally Franwell/METRC was announced as the Apparent Successful Bidder to the RFP. Then, a few days later (June 7th, IIRC) MJ Freeway/LeafData was announced as the successful bidder. Aparently Franwell/METRC had opted out.
The industry at large in Washington recevied assurances from both MJF/LD and the LCB that this system would be ready on Nov 1st. Around the middle of October (Oct 13th), with about two weeks to launch a "Contingency Plan" was announced by the LCB. This was the plan that use Excel uploads to Box.com for reporting. This plan was activated on Friday Oct 20th, just over a week (11 calendar days, 5 working days) before the projected launch. This failure was covered by King5.
Through November and December the entire industry had to rely on an actual contingency plan that was put in place by BioTrackTHC, yours truly and the entirety of the industry. It was actually amazing to see, somehow, a dozen software providers and 1500 cannabis businesses come together to keep the industry moving, without the LCB or their regulatory compliance software. Basically, BioTrackTHC kept the entire thing rolling for a small fee.
In September the State of Nevada booted MJF/LD in favor of METRC In late October MJ Freeway had a major system outage. And sometime in November an email went out offering the MJ Freeway "DATABASE 4 SALE" which included data that appeared to be from the LCB data migration, MJ Freeway claims it's completely bunk. Also on November 28th, MJ Freeway finally announced a security breach from November 2016!
During these two months of "contingency" both MJF/LD and the LCB kept reassuring each of us that their system would be ready Jan 1st. The third-party software providers continued to work with MJF/LD to make their integration work. My own observation was that the MJF/LD system was changing frequently, as features and scope were being scaled back -- a common process on projects that are late. On Dec 6th the LCB made another "go/no-go" decision to hold to the Jan 1st deadline. However, on Friday December 22nd, just over a week before the launch (9 calendar days, 4 working days), the failure to launch Jan 1st was announced. No new launch date was provided, we expect to get that information today (December 26th).
MJ Freeway, with history of failure, has also failed their second attempted go-live date in Washington. This has a significant impact on the industry and forced new costs and hardship for all affected businesses.