Washington Cannabis Industry Transitioning to New Traceability System

Washington cannabis regulators are transitioning from Leaf Data Systems, the state’s problematic seed-to-sale tracking system, to an in-house and “simplified” data-reporting platform.

Full story after the jump.

Washington state will transition from Leaf Data Systems (LDS), the state’s problematic seed-to-sale tracking system operated by MJ Freeway, to an “in house” data collection system, according to a Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) announcement.

Named the “Cannabis Central Reporting System” (CCRS), the new database will be a “revamped, simplified, data-reporting platform.” WSLCB expects CCRS to be simpler, more flexible, and less costly for licensees. The WSLCB will begin testing the new system in September, with a complete transition and end to the LDS contract expected by June 2022. The agency has launched a website for CCRS and a webinar explaining the transition process is scheduled for September 8, the announcement says.

Although the state has spent millions on LDS and is now moving to a new reporting regime, the Director of Washington NORML Kevin Oliver told Ganjapreneur that there is no actual law requiring cannabis to be tracked so closely.

“There is no law requiring traceability as we know it. It simply isn’t necessary to maintain compliance with I-502 as written and passed by voters, nor is there federal guidance demanding it.” — Kevin Oliver, via an online communication

Things started going wrong with Washington‘s traceability system in late 2017 when the state changed vendors from Biotrack THC to MJ Freeway’s Leaf Data System. The system was targeted by a cyber attack in 2018. Then, when MJ Freeway missed numerous 2018 launch dates, the WSLCB moved to a “Contingency Reporting System” (CRS), which eventually was maintained at an operational level due to continued problems with LDS. The CRS remains in place as the WSLCB begins to transition to the new system, according to the Cannabis Observer.

Georgia Jablon, a representative for Leaf Data Systems’ parent company Akerna, told Ganjapreneur in a statement, “Four years ago, in partnership with WSLCB, we built a unique cannabis tracking system that answered the state’s complex regulatory needs and business requirements.

“Since then, Washington’s enforcement and regulatory requirements have evolved into a simplified model that they can support in-house, which we consulted with them to create. At the same time, we have developed other government cannabis models by bringing both robust and simple solutions to states and countries depending on their needs to ensure ongoing success. We wish the WSLCB the best and look forward to witnessing their accomplishments while rolling out their new state track and trace system.”


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