Track and Trace vs. Seed to Sale
In October 2015, the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) became law in California. As California moves ahead with implementing this historic legislation, “Seed-to-Sale” and “Track and Trace” are two terms being heard frequently in conversations with stakeholders around the state.
Seed-to-sale tracking (STS) is traceability technology implemented by cannabis businesses. Often a requirement in cannabis regulatory models, the technology is called seed-to-sale because it captures data points throughout the cannabis supply chain, from STS tracking inception of an individual plant or crop, through harvest, processing, and distribution, all the way to the point of sale to the patient. When required by law, the seed-to-sale tracking methodology requires cannabis businesses to capture these data elements at each point in the supply chain and record that information in a way that is accessible to regulatory authorities, either through mandated reports, during physical inspections, or through upload to the state’s track and trace system. STS tracking is designed to provide total data visibility from cultivation to processing to manufacturing to the final sale to the patient. This type of tracking, while often required by law, is also implemented by cannabis business operators to gain visibility into the data needed to manage their most valuable asset, including:
● Measuring plant yields
● Protecting from theft or diversion
● Evaluating cultivation method ROIs
● Forecasting cultivation productivity
● Assessing extraction method effectiveness
● Identifying patient preferences
● Measuring product profitability and popularity
How does STS work?
Operators may install STS software at their location or access their subscription online to easily manage their processes and track products. Integrated with hardware such as barcode scanners, label printers and scales, the software tracks all plant activity including:
● Plant location, strain, nutrients added
● Batch weights, plants destroyed, harvest dates
● Movement of packages, quantity transferred
● Storage location, quantity available, inventory adjustments
● Quantity sold, sales amount, tax
Learn more about our seed-to-sale software here.
Track and Trace technology systems provide regulators with tools to analyze aggregated compliance data from all licensed cannabis businesses in a state or municipality, providing visibility into the cannabis chain of custody. “Track” because governments want to track cannabis activity tied to current regulation, primarily around key compliance factors. “Trace” as in “to trace or find by investigation.” The data available to regulators in a track and trace system allows them to have visibility into areas that are critical to compliance, such as preventing diversion and fraud and ensuring contaminated products don’t reach the market. Analysis of trends and patterns in that compliance data enables regulators to be highly targeted in their enforcement efforts, ensuring that they can more efficiently deploy scarce resources where they are most needed. Track and Trace systems collect only the data that is required by the law and regulatory structure. The systems do not have access to all data that a cannabis business may record in their seed-to-sale business management system. Track and Trace systems typically receive data in several ways – through data entry, through file upload, or through an API integration with the seed-to-sale tracking system that the cannabis business uses.
Creating a successful, sustainable cannabis industry MJ Freeway’s mission is to help create a legitimate, sustainable, professional industry, where responsible cannabis business owners can serve patients and customers and create jobs in their communities. Regulation is the way forward to safely and responsibly bring cannabis to the nation. For more information or to request a demo of the seed-to-sale software, contact MJ Freeway.