Whether you’re a cultivator, manufacturer, retailer or distributor, it’s important to become familiar with California’s Cannabis Track-and-Trace system. Through a platform called Metrc, California state officials can regulate and supervise the cannabis industry. Here are some of the basic things you need to know about this system.
What is the Cannabis Track-and-Trace System?
The California Cannabis Track-and-Trace system tracks all commercial cannabis and cannabis products—from cultivation to sale. CCTT is run by the the CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing division of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, which covers tracing cannabis in three different branches: Licensing, Compliance and Enforcement, and Administration.
Do I need to know about CCTT?
Yes. If you are a licensed cannabis business, you are required to use the CCTT system to record, track and maintain information about your cannabis and cannabis product inventories. CCTT is hosted on a system called Metrc, which is a cloud hosted online reporting tool you can use to maintain information about your cannabis products as they make their way from seed to sale.
Why does CCTT exist?
Cannabis Track-and-Trace is important for a few reasons:
Basically, Metrc allows the state government to have oversight into the cannabis inventories, maintain quality control, make sure all taxes are being paid correctly, and regulate the transfer of cannabis supplies from cultivator to customer.
How do Metrc and CCTT work?
Metrc uses two types of tags to keep tabs on cannabis and cannabis products. The two tag categories are Plants and Packages.
Plants are are further categorized as either immature or flowering. Immature plants are cannabis plants that are not flowering. Flowering plants are those that have formed a mass of pistils measuring greater than one half inch wide at its widest point. All plants must enter the system through immature plant lots (up to 100 plants/lot). With these lots, up to 100 plants are assigned a Unique Identifier Plant tag. Each immature plant gets a label with the lot UID, while individual flowering plants get a Plant tag.
Meanwhile, Packages are created from immature plants, harvest batches, testing lab samples, production batches, and other packages. Any amount of cannabis or cannabis product that may be sold, manufactured or transferred must be placed into one or more packages. Then, each package receives an UID package tag created in Metrc. Make sure that any product that you intend to transfer from one licensee to another has an UID physically attached to the package.
What is a unique identifier (UID)?
The UID is a unique alphanumeric code or designation used to uniquely identify cannabis and cannabis products on a licensed premises. As an annual licensee, you will be responsible for assigning a CCTT-Metrc nonrepeating UID to each immature lot, flowering plant, and distinct cannabis product. Each UID then keeps track of the cannabis products as they make their way through the supply chain.
How will I get my UIDs? And do I have to pay for them?
When you’re set up in the Metrc system (more on that in a minute), you’ll be able to order your UIDs through the system. The cost of UIDs is factored into the fee for your state’s cannabis license.
How do I use my UIDs?
Let’s divide this up once more into UIDs for Plants versus Packages.
What do you need to do now?
To get started using Metrc, follow these steps:
For more on how to get started using Metrc, follow the instructions listed in the primer released by the CDFA. If you get stuck or have any questions along the way, reach out to the experts at California Cannabis CPA to get advice.