Washington State Tracking Software Going Up in Smoke

Washington State Tracking Software Goes Up in Smoke

Flickr / Richard Bauer / (CC BY 2.0)

It looks like the highly talked about seed-to-sale tracking system for marijuana businesses in Washington state is going up in smoke.

According to KING 5, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board informed state marijuana businesses last week that the tracking software program will not be ready until the end of the month. Officials are currently trying to find a temporary solution for the problem.

Here’s the issue: every product associated with a marijuana business in Washington state is tracked by extensive data. Under the tracking system, the state knows who supplies the specific plant, what SKU number it has and the brand of the plant. All information is required to be entered by businesses, so each plant is accounted for in the database.

When MJ Freeway, the software vendor, revealed there would be a delay in rolling out the system, business owners worried about the effect the wait could have on their sales.

WSLCB told KING 5 that it “…made the critical decision to prepare to implement our contingency plan.” Until the system is up and running, the board created a downloadable spreadsheet for businesses to track every product by hand.

Melissa Champoux, inventory lead at Seattle’s store Hashtag, is not a fan of the option provided to businesses.

“That would be a nightmare. It would be very easy to make a one-digit error in a 16 digit code.”

Not only would it be a hassle for workers like Champoux, but also owners who now have to write bigger checks to their employees for the additional time needed to fill out the data forms.

“It raises the cost of everything we sell so we have to pass on a higher cost to the consumer,” said Logan Bowers, owner of Hashtag. “It increases the risk our business will be shut down by the federal government or be more thoroughly scrutinized,” he said.

The new tracking system is slated to be up and running on Jan. 1, 2018. In the meantime, the WSLCB and the advisory board will be brainstorming to come up with a more efficient temporary fix.

Amanda Taylor was the editorial assistant for Marijuana Industry News from September 2016 through February 2018. She earned a BA in English and an MA in Writing from Coastal Carolina University.

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