A clearer timeline for the complete implementation of Washington state’s cannabis traceability system, Leaf Data Systems (LDS), is beginning to emerge after more than a year and a half of delays and setbacks.
Meeting for the first time since January, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) Traceability Advisory Committee rescheduled the latest update, version 1.37.5 from June 14 to July 1. The update had already been rescheduled from early November to June.
According to a Cannabis Observer report, MJ Freeway has submitted eight potential release candidates but none have passed the LCB’s ten-day regression testing process. The ninth candidate will be submitted on May 7. Leaf Data Systems 1.40 — the version that will fulfill the contract MJ Freeway signed on July 11, 2017 — is scheduled for release on September 20, 2019. At that time, MJ Freeway will manage Leaf Data Systems on a monthly subscription basis at a cost of $600,000 per year. Still more updates to fix data quality bugs are scheduled for late 2019 and beyond.
Additionally, members of the advisory committee have raised concerns about the data integrity within Leaf Data Systems over the past year. The LCB is attempting to remediate this issue with a “Data Quality Project” that will assess, analyze, and resolve problems and monitor data quality within LDS.
Project manager Claire Olson said, “We don’t really know how big the breadbox is yet,” and that the LCB is attempting to gain an assessment that is, “a little more finite than ‘everything is bad.'”
“Talking to the enforcement guys has been a real eye-opening experience for me. It is the reason I stay here late at night trying to get these things sorted out.” — Olson, via The Cannabis Observer
The process to implement a new seed to sale traceability system in Washington has been plagued with problems since 2017 when long-time vendor Bio Track THC’s contract was not renewed by the LCB.
MJ Freeway won the contract to build a new state system. After missing their first deadline of October 31, 2017, however, the company has reported delays ever since. After reports of a hack and continued issues, the LCB then brought on Gardner Consulting to help identify issues holding the project up in the spring of 2018. During this period, the LCB issued several emergency license suspensions, each related to diversion and traceability issues.
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