An Interview with Metrc CEO Michael Johnson



Metrc combines a computer software system with radio frequency identification technologies to track crops and cannabis products from seed to sale. The observe-and-trace product immediately turned adopted by dozens of states to control their hashish markets about the many years, becoming an essential conventional in the sector.

With governing administration contracts in nineteen states and counting, Metrc has develop into an omnipresent fixture in the United States cannabis industry. States do the job with Metrc to present their market’s traceability software program for the whole supply chain, which can help avoid diversion to the black industry, features safety and security, aids in recalls and regulatory compliance equipment.

We sat down with Michael Johnson, CEO of Metrc, to examine retail troubles, regulations, cybersecurity, compliance and extra.

Aaron Green: What are the major compliance challenges merchants confront?

Michael Johnson: Significant compliance problems that vendors encounter will range from state to point out, even so, we do see common themes across point out strains. Monetary products and services, for occasion, has been a historical sector hurdle, as most big banking institutions and credit score card companies deny entry to their community, producing it tough for vendors throughout the board – from bank account setup to minimal consumer and patient payment options to safety concerns when handling a cash-only retail business enterprise. The tides are starting to adjust with far more credit unions and condition-chartered banking companies opening their doorways to the market, alongside with new payment technologies for shoppers to use as a substitute of funds.

Michael Johnson, CEO of Metrc

We also see frequent operational troubles, like stock administration difficulties due to human error, deficiency of reliable high-quality assurance, and merchandise theft. Vendors frequently experience strict packaging, labeling, and merchandise security rules along with demands for public health, storage and sanitation procedures and additional levels of safety and surveillance.

At last, access to compliant and retail-pleasant engineering units is significant as it can have a significant operational effect. If a retailer can opt for, picking the right system will manage all their operational desires – from ID-scanning at check-in to stock administration to banking – whilst adequately integrating with their state’s observe-and-trace technologies. That’s a key reward and just one that Flowhub brings to the field, alongside Metrc.

Aaron: How does compliance for shops vary from cultivators and suppliers?

Michael: It is critical to note that proactive compliance sits at the centre of hashish regulation. Not only does it make certain the upkeep of license(s) and over-all firms, it allows grow and enhance the market as a whole. As a remarkably regulated sector, transparent and consistent compliance initiatives give the vital basis for a safe and sound and protected ecosystem, strengthening all ranges of the supply chain and the marketplace at substantial.

All field gamers ought to adhere to specific licensing and documentation prerequisites – an expired or illegal license may possibly direct to serious fines and carries the potential of dropping the business enterprise. In a handful of states, workers may perhaps need to have a license as properly. Real estate also comes into perform for all license holders, with specific cannabis zoning constraints, these types of as necessitating length boundaries amongst pick out establishments.

Considering that shops are buyer- and/or patient-experiencing, they may well experience one of a kind operational demands when compared to cultivators and producers, including ID-examining guidelines, buyer or patient supply legislation, more packaging and labeling guidelines, rigid dispensation laws, in-store and on-shelf products placement, retail signage, and merchandise marketing principles, and much more.

Just like retail, cultivation and production compliance will also change throughout states, but with a host of supplemental compliance needs to maintain in intellect – for example, biological, chemical, and actual physical hazards are one thing that enjoy a larger sized part at facility operations, which are subject to Occupational Basic safety and Wellness Administration (OSHA) regulations. Other compliance issues to highlight on the cultivation and manufacturing side incorporate point out necessities on inventory reporting, protection patrols, squander removing, and meticulous logging.

Aaron: What is your procedure for analyzing vendor integrations?

Michael: At Metrc, we preserve an productive and consistent approach for assessing seller integrations – an instance of our commitment to making sure the protection and protection of lawful cannabis marketplaces.

To start with, integrators petition access into certain occasion(s) by filling out a type with their simple data (business enterprise name, software package title, contact facts, and many others.), together with any point out-expected agreements that should be signed. The integrator is then offered a established of steps to conduct in each instance requested. The techniques furnished are then evaluated by our API Aid crew. When all ways are carried out accurately, the integrator is included into creation and an API crucial is generated for their use. Licensees should also situation the TPI a User API critical to gain entry to the API. Overall, the approach is a blend of conference condition, Metrc, and licensee needs.

Aaron: Can you tackle the cybersecurity landscape METRC faces? What is METRC’s method for dealing with cybersecurity threats?

Michael: Cybersecurity threats are shared throughout industries and despite the fact that not exceptional to Metrc or the hashish sector, cybersecurity threats and the value of information continues to adjust. Sustaining demanding safeguards around information privacy and the security is a top rated priority at Metrc and we maintain a continuous pulse on improvements in the cybersecurity landscape, to manage this safeguard for our clients, business end users, and Metrc as a total.

Aaron: What developments in hashish regulation are you following?

Michael: Hashish principles and rules are at any time evolving, which is why it is vitally significant for anyone in the market to continue to be up to day. Illustrations of some we are following intently at Metrc include the Protected Banking Act, Cannabis Option Reinvestment and Expungement (Far more) Act, and Cannabis Administration Chance Act (CAOA) and a lot more commonly federal legalization, community well being safety, and environmental rules.

Aaron: What is future for METRC?

Michael: We continue on to increase our shopper and person comments loop to make certain our roadmap satisfies the one of a kind requirements of marketplaces and an over-all evolving sector/regulatory landscape. Examples include things like continued efficiency advancements, more strong analytics capabilities, user-driven performance updates, and exploring the design and style of a more sustainable RFID tag.