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Colorado regulators want to be certain that a cannabis plant, from seed to sale, ends up at an authorized retailer and nowhere else. The state also wants to ensure the cannabis product being sold in stores comes from a licensed grower.
In 2011, Colorado’s Department of Revenue established regulations requiring that the history and status of medical cannabis plants and their resulting products be tracked across the supply chain. The state also created a system called Marijuana Inventory Tracking Solutions (MITS) for the Marijuana Enforcement Division which tracks a cannabis plant and its products from the grower to the processor to the retail sale. The MITS software was developed by Florida technology company Franwell.
Commercial marijuana growers must purchase Franwell’s EPC Gen 2 passive RFID tags to authenticate and identify each cannabis plant and product. Growers are also required to update a cannabis product’s status by logging into the MITS system using the Internet.
Growers and processors don’t have to report MITS data manually. The MITS software is compatible with other inventory tracking systems, like TRiQsoft, the leading cannabis supply chain software solution. TRiQsoft is preparing for integration with MITS in the near future. “Once the integration with MITS happens, users will be able to input data into TRiQsoft which will automatically report the required information to MITS,” explains TRiQ Inc. Co-founder and CEO Matt Cohen.
The automated reporting will save growers and processors both time and money.
The Colorado system is similar to WashingtonState’s portal of which TRiQsoft is already integrated.
Cohen added that the portal standard is a great best practice for regulators. It also allows cannabis operations and vendors to use the software of their choice.
Commercial cannabis growers typically grow their plants from stems instead of seeds. A new cloned stem is given a serial number which is connected to an RFID tag with an RFID number and a unique 24-digit ID number on it. The grower uses a TRiQsoft handheld reader to scan the tag’s ID number. TRiQsoft automatically sends the information to the MITS system. It’s that easy.
When the plant is ready to harvest, the tag is discarded. The grower dries the plant's flowers and leaves. Once dried, the flowers are shipped with a new RFID tag and printed label to the retailer. The printed label includes details about plant's origins and more, while the new tag ID has the product’s history, such as where the flowers were harvested, and is automatically entered into the MITS via TRiQsoft.
Byproducts of the plant, like the leaves and stems, are packed into bags and each bag has an attached RFID tag. The byproducts are then shipped to the infused-product company.
Testing for mold, E. coli or pesticide contamination is required for all cannabis products. The data is recorded in TRiQsoft to create a history, along with each package’s unique ID number on the RFID label, and updates MITS automatically.
When the processed cannabis goods are for sale on retailer shelves, inspectors can visit the site with a handheld reader to scan the product tags and review the item's history to make certain it meets all required criteria.
In the case of a recall, the system would help regulators trace the cannabis back to the moment of contamination thereby identifying the location of other possibly contaminated products.
Medical and recreational cannabis consumers can rest assured that the product will be safer than it has ever been before.