Cannabis Product Type Specifications

In the Cannabis industry, across more than a dozen states, three primary service providers, hundreds of secondary providers and thousands of cannabis businesses we all deals with Products. And sadly, we all do it slightly differently. Today we are trying to bring that together with a public specification and product database.

Regulated Product Types

With cannabis & hemp each of these product type specifications start with the regulatory agency. There are over a dozen agencies that dictate what is allowed, and what these classifications are. At the root of this problem is to resolve all these different concepts to one, unified specification.

Regulation Software

Many (most?) of the governments have implemented some track-and-trace type system; there are three market-dominant vendors: BioTrack, METRC and Akerna/MJ Platform (MJ Freeway)/LeafData Each of these software providers has their own specifications – and in in some cases the specifications are not consistent across government implementations. This results in a second set of product type descriptors that needs to be resolved.

Third Party Integrators

And finally, we’ve got the third party integrators – there are over 100 (we are one too!). Now, we’ve got dozens of states, three providers and 100 additional technology providers. This creates a large complexity matrix.

Unity for Common Good

A fortunate outcome from the scenario is that many laws defer to NIST in the absence of their own requirements. This gives us the primary building block. The US Government also has data built out at NCBI as well, and their are other product and laboratory standards (eg: ASTM) that we can cite for reference.

An inevitble result of these three primary providers competing in the same narrow space is that they all use and deal in the same data. It’s not wildly different – there is only so much that can be done with cannabis. For this it’s simply the tedious process of building the data-map.

Our community has taken some steps to unify all these slightly different data models into a common specification. It’s become part of our API product, the specifications are all in YAML files and we’ve provided tools to move it to JSON, SQL, etc. We’ve also provided an industry wide product-data-aggrigator that can be used to register and lookup product details which will reduce data-entry errors across the industry.