If you run a licensed cannabis business in Colorado, the state expects you to use the METRC system for cannabis tracking.
State compliance can feel intimidating– but we're here first to tell you not to worry. Our top-level look into METRC Colorado is the perfect place to start.
Keep reading below for everything you need to know on how METRC in the Midwest's own "Centennial State."
Colorado cannabis regulators require licensed businesses to use METRC. METRC is the data framework designed to help state regulators track cannabis from seed to sale.
The METRC system generates batch numbers for all legal cannabis materials. Batch numbers are used to make tags. For example, a yield is codified into batches on METRC before it is tagged and sent off.
When buyers receive the product, they can split up that batch number and re-tag everything before beginning production or sale. Those batch numbers stay the same until that product hits the market and gets sold to a consumer. Tags change per transfer and package.
METRC wants to know where these batch numbers are. Distributors or suppliers responsible for transportation will also need to track their batch numbers.
That way, they send compliance-ready information to the state to fill the system gaps METRC helps regulators maintain compliance in the legal market, monitoring shrinkage, losses, and theft.
Without METRC in Colorado, a business is not compliant with state regulations.
METRC has a contract with Colorado state regulators to provide track-and-trace infrastructure for the legal industry.
You have to use METRC, or it is very likely you will not be able to have a Colorado cannabis license.
You cannot get away from it. You need to invest in METRC before you start thinking about making money from cannabis in Colorado.
The MED (Marijuana Enforcement Division) of Colorado is the state bureau that monitors every licensed operator. They oversee the METRC Colorado system.
The MED handles licensure issues, changes necessary information, and even adds an API to the business's website to connect to METRC. Developers can work with the MED to connect to Colorado's METRC program.
If you are not dealing with the MED Colorado, you are not operating legally. The MED does not know your circumstances.
They only know if you are compliant or not, and it is challenging to keep your license if you are not compliant.
METRC is both your gateway to licensure and a potential pain point (if you don't follow compliance rules). The second you start growing, transporting, or selling cannabis, you need to use METRC to report to Colorado state regulators.
If you do not do that, you will lose your license faster than you got it. Remember, regulators have no idea what your circumstances are. They see facts and figures. They do not care if you say, "I'm new to this" or, "I've never used METRC before."
If you operate a legal cannabis business in Colorado, take the MED Colorado training class.
You can sign up at any time, and you will learn how to use METRC to maintain compliance better. Once you complete the class, you'll be able to use METRC with way less trouble.
The state knows that you have gone through the training, and you can retake the course whenever. It would be helpful also to send your staff members or partners to the course.
Having your team trained ensures less loss because every employee will truly understand METRC in Colorado.
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