Are We Ready for California’s Seed-to-Sale Tracking System?
A comprehensive digital tracking system for all cannabis legally produced in the state of California could be introduced by the end of next month. Now, industry officials are scrambling to figure out what it will all mean.
For the weary, the so-called “seed-to-sale” tracking system was a major selling point of Prop 64. It promises tight monitoring of every plant grown and sold in the licensed cannabis industry to clamp down on the black market and prevent the flow of cannabis to other states. But regulators aren’t able to implement the program until they have issued non-temporary, annual licenses. Those are expected soon, making way for the new seed-to-sale tracking system.
Under the system, growers will put a tag with an embedded radio transmitter on each marijuana plant. That tag will be tied to a unique ID number. As the plant moves through each phase of the supply chain, workers will scan the tag, weigh the processed material, and update information about growing conditions. It also will note information such as the strain of marijuana and lab test results until every product made from that plant is sold.
If that sounds complicated, you’re not alone. Many growers worry that a complex and hastily-devised new system could mean disruptions to their business. As the Record Bee notes, rural cultivators in places like the Emerald Triangle may have a particularly hard time adjusting. They need to make sure they have a reliable internet connection to cooperate with the system. Some believe they’ll have to hire new personnel just to work on tracking compliance.
It’s not all bad. Some believe the new system could help improve efficiency and company data collection. Also, anything that makes it harder for the black market to operate is good for the legal industry in theory.
California’s newly legal marijuana industry is no stranger to uncertainty and regulatory experimentation. We’ll be watching to see how it adjusts to this latest phase.