In November 2018, California dispensaries began receiving their annual licenses. This means that within 30 days of receiving their license, they must begin reporting to California’s track-and-trace system: Metrc.
California dispensaries can prepare for Metrc by learning Metrc basics, which includes standardizing data, reconciling schedules, and more.
After receiving their annual license—but before they can begin reporting to Metrc—every dispensary will have to go through a data and inventory migration process. We call this a “migration to Metrc” because all of the store’s current inventory and data must be transferred (migrated) to Metrc. It's a complex process that requires an extreme attention to detail. Mistakes will put the dispensary out of compliance and could result in fines, temporary or permanent shutdowns, and forfeiture of the license.
When a dispensary has a successful migration to Metrc, there will not be an interruption to the day-to-day operations. In fact, the final steps of the migration can be completed overnight. Business can resume as normal the next day with little or no impact to operations.
If a migration is unsuccessful, it can be painful, expensive, and time consuming to fix. For example, one dispensary reports their failed Metrc migration resulted in:
Five months out of compliance
The firing of an entire inventory staff
Hiring and training of new staff
Unanticipated expenses for additional engineering and support work
So, what caused the unsuccessful migration?
4 Common Metrc Migration Mistakes
1. Don't veer from your POS provider's migration instructions. Ideally, your interaction with Metrc should be minimal—especially if your POS has an integration with Metrc. In fact, you should only have to do two things in Metrc: order tags and accept tags.
2. Don't create your own items in Metrc. This will create an inconsistency between your POS data and Metrc's data.
3. Don't apply the wrong units of measure to a product. This, too, will create red flags and errors in sales reported to Metrc.
4. Don't make adjustments in Metrc before the POS data is reported. This often happens when an employee sees discrepancies and makes adjustments in Metrc before the data from the POS was reflected in Metrc.
These four mistakes lead to duplicate products, duplicate sales reporting, and failed sales reporting.
And these mistakes ultimately mean non-compliance and being at risk for fines and closures.
And it takes lots of time and money to undo the mistakes. Your POS provider or a Metrc consultant can help you get back into compliance, but you and your employees may end up having to do tedious work. At best, we’ve seen a five hours of work at $200hr for a Metrc consultant—and this doesn’t include the time-consuming manual work to clean up and reconcile inventories.
An unsuccessful migration can cost thousands of dollars to fix and many hours of manual work. It can also put a California dispensary out of compliance for months and leave you vulnerable to fines and penalties.
Our advice is to communicate as early and as often as possible with your POS provider. Ensure you understand your provider's plan for successfully migrating your store to Metrc.
And should you have any doubts about your POS provider’s ability to migrate your store to Metrc, Green Bits would be happy to help. We’ve successfully migrated hundreds of dispensaries to Metrc across multiple states.
Are you ready for Metrc?
We offer a free Metrc Readiness Assessment that over 100 California dispensaries have completed:
"This let me know about all the small track-and-trace stuff that I had no idea about!"
"You are the only ones providing an assessment like this. It's great!"