The Washington state legal cannabis market has had its share of hiccups since its creation. Now, at the close of 2017, a new problem around the state’s seed-to-sale tracking software has materialized just in time (literally) for Halloween.

Earlier this year, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB) announced they would not be renewing the contract of their seed-to-sale tracking software vendor, BioTrack THC. When Franwell, the state’s first choice to replace BioTrack, backed out of the contract, the LCB chose MJ Freeway instead to manage Washington’s seed-to-sale data. MJ Freeway, who also administers tracking databases in Nevada and Pennsylvania, and the LCB agreed on October 1 as the contracted date to have the new system up and running.

However, MJ Freeway and the LCB recently announced that they would not meet the deadline. Instead of the 31st, they now say the new traceability software — known as Leaf Data Systems — won’t be online until January 1, 2018.

To bridge the gap, the LCB has provided a two-pronged contingency plan they say will allow businesses to continue tracking their products. First, vendors who rely on the state’s seed-to-sale tracking system will now enter tracking information on Excel spreadsheets, which will be entered into the new system once Leaf Data Systems is live — about two months later. Second, businesses that use 3rd-party tracking software are advised to consult software vendors for offline data entry concerns, while businesses who use a commercial version of a seed-to-sale compliance software can continue to using their software as usual to track compliance.

Under the LCB’s proposed spreadsheet plan, businesses would report the same data as before using a 16-digit numbering system for new products. Transfers and destruction events must be submitted daily, using an LCB online form. Tax reports are still due monthly. The WSLCB assures businesses they can operate as normal during the contingency plan, but many aren’t so sure the transition will go smoothly, including BioTrack THC’s CEO Patrick Vo.

In an open letter to Washington state I-502 businesses, Mr. Vo assured the industry that BioTrack is doing everything they can to make the transition as painless as possible, while simultaneously shedding a little light on the LCB’s actions. In the letter, Vo says the LCB only discussed an extension of their contract on October 9th, after it was clear the new system wouldn’t be on time. Although the LCB offered to double their contracted price, BioTrack’s CEO wrote they are unable to accept the extension due to security concerns and aren’t 100% sure if they can extend the contract once it elapses at midnight on Halloween.

The concerns center around a possible data breach related to the new database, and, despite assurances the breach has been fixed from both the LCB and the Washington State Office of Cyber Security, Mr. Vo says without actual proof the problem is fixed, he won’t put his business and livelihood in jeopardy by extending the contract. In the letter, he suggests the industry work together to fix the problem and suggested hopefully that BioTrack may have a solution by November 1 to avoid what he characterized as “industry Armageddon.”

Editors note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the decision to delay the new seed-to-sale system was made independently by MJ Freeway, while it was a joint decision between the company and LCB, and did not mention the fact that cannabis companies using a commercial seed-to-sale software suite could continue to use these solutions during the limbo period. These updates were made on 10/31 at 9:55 am PST.

Do you own a cannabis industry business? Create a listing in our directory and get discovered by new clients - Click Here

Tags: , , , , | Categories: Cannabis Business News Recreational Cannabis News

Learn about cannabis businesses:

View the directory | Get featured here

  • Cannabis Cash Solutions

    At Cannabis Cash Solutions we specialize in automating cash handling for marijuana-related businesses. Our turnkey cash management system makes it easy to start protecting your investment today.

  • Cannabis Accounting Group, a CWSEAPA Company

    We believe that what sets us apart from other accounting firms, is working within the Tax Code to find a way around the oppressive Section 280E Rules.

  • eBottles 420

    The ultimate online resource for packaging supplies: we offer multiple options for every item you would possibly need, from vape cartridges to concentrate jars to child-resistant bottles.

  • CannaPlanners

    CannaPlanners is a full service design and web agency, dedicated to normalizing the cannabis industry through professional and beautiful design services. From logos to packaging design, trade-show materials to t-shirts and hats - we've got all your creative needs covered. Our turnkey WordPress site builder allows for great-looking sites at affordable rates. Let our creative team tell your story!

  • CannaSafe Solutions

    CannaSafe Solutions is the one-stop-shop for all the safety needs of your cannabis growhouse, dispensary, lab, or edibles manufacturing facility. We provide all of the safety equipment and apparel you need to protect your employees, your plants, and your business.

  • S2S Insurance

    S2S Insurance Specialists, LLC (S2S) provides risk management services to the Recreational & Medical Industry, both domestic and abroad. Through a specialized platform, S2S helps both public and private companies purchase important Insurance Coverages in the emerging Cannabis Industry. Our mission is to educate, advise and help our clients obtain hard to place General Liability (including Product & Completed Operations, Employment Practice Liability & Workers Compensation) for their cannabis-related operations. We go above and beyond our client’s expectations while always supporting them in the claims process

  • Cannabis Tax Solutions

    We are Cannabis Industry Financial Experts helping CEO's transform their business by saving tons on taxes, increasing cash flow, enhancing margins, and improving processes. We go beyond Section 280e issues; your problems are our solutions.

  • Releaf App

    Releaf App is a patent pending mobile app that enables patients to track their live sessions with cannabis and record exactly how it’s helping them. It then provides intelligent reporting to help patients learn what types of cannabis and intake methods are working best in treating their symptoms. Patients can share these reports with doctors and/or budtenders to discuss their treatment and identify their best options.

  • PayQwick, Inc.

    PayQwick’s mission is to bring well-established, proven payment processing, regulatory compliance and banking services to the licensed recreational and medical marijuana industries, thereby reducing the risk of violent crime, illegal money laundering and violation of state marijuana regulations. PayQwick serves state licensed Producers, Processors, Wholesalers, Distributors, Dispensaries and Retailers.

  • Fast Capital Financing

    FCF understands the importance of financial stability to ensure the success of your business. That's why we offer loan options delivered by our expert business advisers so you can worry less about working capital, and more about what really matters - running your business! We work with all credit scores and offer an easy online application. You can receive a decision in as little as 24 hours! Contact us now to speak with one of our business advisers.

  • NisonCo

    Through access to an unmatched network of cannabis industry leaders, reporters, reviewers, and social media influencers, NisonCo can get and keep your company in the news. We have developed over 2,800 active relationships with reporters and reviewers who cover cannabis from nearly every major outlet across the country. Our team of over 15 employees is passionate about maintaining a positive image for the industry and our hyper-attentive approach generates fast results.

  • TRIM Media House

    TRIM Media House is a full-service digital marketing agency with a heavy focus in visual content creation, website design, photography, and videography. If you are trying to navigate the digital arena when it comes to your brand, we would love to talk to you!

Want a job in the cannabis industry?

Sign up to apply for unlimited jobs and get discovered by companies who are hiring

Post Your Resume View all jobs

Recent Job Postings

Subscribe for daily cannabis news, announcements, and business insights.

Stay informed about the latest cannabis industry news, policy progress, and business developments.