Monitoring Glitches Sew Chaos into Washington State Hashish Business

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Software program snafus within the huge database maintained by Washington state authorities to trace cannabis by the regulated market gummed up the works final month — costing companies tons of of hundreds of {dollars} in misplaced gross sales and even inflicting some to furlough staff.

An Related Press story on July 24 famous the influence on Hint Analytics, a lab in Spokane that assessments merchandise for the authorized market. Sometimes, a minimum of a dozen samples come by the door every day. On the day the AP reporter visited, one sole pattern arrived. 

The offender appears to be a cyber-hiccup that’s however the latest drawback with the state’s necessary “seed-to-sale” monitoring system for cannabis companies. The persistent issues have led to calls for that the state terminate its contract with the system’s software program supplier — and to rethink the “traceability” program altogether.

The AP quoted Andy Brassington, chief monetary officer of Evergreen Natural, a Seattle producer of cannabis-infused edibles.

“Our small firm misplaced 4 days of revenue-generating gross sales as a direct results of the state software program system failure, and we’re simply one among tons of of firms that skilled comparable outcomes,” Brassington stated. “These are gross sales you by no means get again. For those who go to the grocery retailer and so they’re out of milk, you don’t return the subsequent week and purchase twice as a lot.”

Vicki Christophersen, govt director of the Washington CannaBusiness Affiliation, advised AP that the pc issues have been “crippling.”

Bending the Guidelines for a ‘Workaround’ 

The Washington State Liquor & Hashish Board (WSLCB) is after all urgent the software program supplier to work out the bugs. That’s Denver-based MJ Freeway, maker of Leaf Knowledge Programs, which is used to observe the regulated cannabis market in a number of states.

However on July 16, every week into the latest mess, the WSLCB resorted to the irregular transfer of permitting cannabis companies to “provide you with their very own workarounds,” because the AP put it. (The precise language from the WSLCB was way more sophisticated.) 

Principally, companies have been advised to maintain their very own information on testing, transport and gross sales for potential evaluation at a future date, however to not fear about inputting the data into the computerized monitoring system as mandated by the regs. 

“The board acknowledges there are challenges and issues related to this software program launch they need to have the ability to alleviate within the brief time period,” WSLCB spokesman Brian Smith advised AP.

MJ Freeway stated it was working to deal with the problems. As Marijuana Enterprise Day by day stories, on Aug. 1 the corporate was given a two-month extension on a brand new software program launch to resolve the glitches.

In June, MJ Freeway merged with MTech Acquisition to kind Akerna, which is now the primary cannabis “compliance know-how” firm to be traded on the NASDAQ.
 
MJ Freeway CEO Jessica Billingsley, who’s to guide Akerna, acknowledged in a June 17 press launch saying the merger: “As legalization of cannabis expands internationally, we consider it’s crucial that companies, sufferers, shoppers and governments have the monitoring and compliance know-how they should make knowledgeable selections and adjust to relevant rules. We consider Akerna is well-suited to fulfill these wants with the power to scale quickly internationally and supply a strong and revolutionary platform for rising business calls for.”

A Persistent and Nationwide Dilemma

For business watchers, there was a way of deja vu to the paralysis within the Evergreen State. In January 2017, MJ Freeway was apparently hit by hackers, with each its foremost servers and back-up system down. The outage despatched 1,000 retailers nationwide “scrambling to deal with every little thing from gross sales and stock administration to regulatory compliance points,” Marijuana Enterprise Day by day reported on the time. Some dispensaries needed to shut their doorways completely. 

And as AP identified in its report on the Washington mishegoss, greater than a yr after authorized adult-market gross sales started in California, solely a fraction of the business is collaborating within the system recognized there as “Observe-and-Hint.” Maryland’s monitoring system additionally skilled an outage final yr, stopping gross sales within the state’s medical marijuana program. Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program has skilled comparable points. And Nevada dropped its contract with MJ Freeway following the 2017 hack.

TELL US, would you purchase cannabis that wasn’t monitored by a monitoring system?

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