Part 3 of 3: How Track and Trace affects California Dispensary Employees
By Green Bits
In our first article, Part 1 of 3: What California dispensaries can do to prepare for Track and Trace, we collaborated with RMCC to share how California dispensaries can prepare for Track and Trace. This is important because not preparing for Metrc can result in discrepancies between the physical inventory in your store, inventory in your POS, and inventory in the California track-and-trace system, Metrc. Discrepancies can lead to fines, temporary shutdowns, or the loss of your store license.
In this article, we share how the roles of California dispensary employees will change once California’s track-and-trace system is implemented.
Metrc means more work for California dispensary employees
In general, a dispensary store manager is in charge of a lot of things. If it’s a smaller operation, the store manager might be in charge of ordering products, managing employees, hiring, scheduling shifts, maintaining online menus, and more. In general, a store manager’s week is already full of responsibilities.
After Metrc is implemented, the store manager may also be in charge of managing Metrc. Depending on your point-of-sale provider, this can add anywhere from three to ten hours of extra work per week.
We’ve seen many stores hire compliance managers to help store managers, inventory managers, budtenders, and other employees keep up to date with the requirements of Metrc. In smaller stores, the responsibilities of Metrc might fall on one employee, but in larger stores, the responsibility will likely be spread across roles and locations.
At the very least, we recommend staffing accordingly and ensuring you have a compliance manager ready to help. Please note that how the roles will change is partly dependent on your POS provider. Some roles will have significantly more work, while others will have less depending on the extent of compliance automation features of your POS.
Prior to Metrc, we’ve seen very few California dispensaries have compliance managers. If you already have one (or multiple), you’re ahead of the curve.
After Metrc is implemented, compliance managers ensure everyone is accountable to the new store processes and to Metrc reporting. These compliance managers will go through the store’s physical inventory, the store’s Metrc account, and the store’s POS to make sure products are accurate for things like transaction limits.
Prior to Metrc, inventory managers might have been focused solely on purchasing. After Metrc is implemented, their focus may shift to keeping different inventory items separate for easy auditing and reconciliation. For example, we’ve seen inventory managers who operate in a Metrc environment create a process for physically separating different orders. They recommend that when you order more product, the new inventory should be tracked separately from the old.
Prior to Metrc being implemented, we recommend hiring a compliance manager. We’ve seen many stores do this already.
Additionally, for store permissions, we recommend making sure only inventory managers and their managers can manually add a product at the register. Otherwise, anyone who sells a product must scan the barcode to ensure sales are properly reported to Metrc. Not scanning barcodes can easily create “negative inventory” in your POS and Metrc.
Lastly, owners need to accept that most of their processes will be impacted by Metrc. Owners should dedicate time to train employees accordingly. Employees should understand the importance of Metrc and the required day-to-day tasks they must complete to ensure the store stays compliant.
Budtenders will likely not interact with Metrc once it's implemented because when they ring sales, their actions will directly affect a store's compliance status. Without the proper controls built into a cannabis dispensary POS, budtenders can easily exceed transaction limits, sell into the negative, and more.
We recommend barcoding all products and training budtenders to scan everything to prevent most, if not all, common Metrc sales errors that can result in fines, temporary shutdowns, or the loss of a California dispensary license.
If your Metrc-compliant POS has an integration to report sales, you may only have to use Metrc for a limited number of tasks. For example, with Green Bits, you only have to do the following in Metrc: