CALIFORNIA – After soliciting feedback from licensed cannabis business operators and others on the state’s cannabis tracking system during listening sessions that spanned a year, the California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) is rolling out a slate of technical improvements, trainings, and increased functionality that will benefit licensees, local governments, and state partners and continue to support the licensed cannabis market.
DCC is working with California Cannabis Track and Trace (CCTT) provider, Metrc on over a dozen improvements that will allow licensees to save time when inputting data, give the Department greater access to monitor and flag system performance issues, and give local governments that permit cannabis businesses access to licensee information. System enhancements will result in drastically faster system response times by November and include California-specific training modules and in-person training sessions starting next year.
“In an effort to ensure the pace and level of service match the scale and demands of California’s legal market, DCC spent significant time over the last year working with Metrc to define an enhanced set of services that better match state and stakeholder needs through the remainder of their contract,” said DCC Director Nicole Elliott.
“These improvements aim to deliver on feedback received from stakeholders and support improved data gathering/sharing to inform policy decisions that strengthen the cannabis market and its various stakeholders.”
These changes will enhance the system in the following ways:
- Time-Saving: In November, improvements will be made to the way data is uploaded in the system, allowing licensees to process data batch uploads while performing other tracking tasks more efficiently. This new functionality will allow licensees to upload multiple CSV files at a time.
- Improved Data Access: DCC is also working with Metrc to ensure department staff, and local jurisdictions have better access to extract and analyze licensee data, increasing transparency and better informing policy and compliance decisions.
- Education: New resources will provide step-by-step instructions for licensees to locate and attend California-specific training modules, including a simplified process to become credentialed, with in-person trainings starting in 2023. DCC staff will also receive additional training to increase proficiency on system modifications and system utilization, allowing them to provide informed guidance and assistance to licensees.
- Sustainability: Later this month, and after calls for the development of more earth-friendly plant tags, DCC and Metrc will begin testing more sustainable tag prototypes.
- Technical Oversight: DCC access to the Metrc system performance monitoring tools will allow staff to see when there are performance issues in real-time, alert licensees, and work with Metrc to remediate challenges.
- Market Integrity: System improvements, including upgrades to the reporting system, will allow DCC to more easily review data anomalies, allowing the state to prioritize inspections that support the integrity of the licensed cannabis market and educate licensees who may be accidentally misreporting information. Other enhancements will allow retailers to enter additional information about consumer sales, allowing for a more efficient tax auditing process.
Director Elliott and members of DCC’s policy, compliance, and public affairs teams returned recently from a listening tour with craft and legacy cultivators and manufacturers in the Emerald Triangle, including licensees in Sonoma, Humboldt, and Mendocino counties. Staff additionally met with licensees in Sacramento, Nevada, and Santa Barbara counties. There, DCC staff engaged in productive conversations about pain points in the regulated market and received broad feedback about Metrc system improvements. Director Elliott encouraged licensees and local cannabis regulators to continue providing feedback to staff to help improve user experience and provide feedback on system improvements that would improve analytics. Metrc-focused listening sessions and site visits will continue through the end of the year to inform additional user-requested improvements.
DCC staff will meet with Metrc biweekly to continue focused conversations on improvements. Metrc has hired a California-based executive who is knowledgeable about the state’s specific cannabis laws and will keep working with DCC staff to meet the needs of stakeholders, including licensees. As improvements come online, DCC will continue to engage licensees, local governments, and other stakeholders to ensure they’re aware of developments and capture additional feedback.
The DCC licenses and regulates commercial cannabis activity within California and works closely with all stakeholders, including businesses and local jurisdictions, to create a sustainable legal cannabis industry and a safe and equitable marketplace. The DCC develops and implements progressive cannabis policies with robust protections for public health, safety, and the environment. The DCC was formed in 2021 by merging the three state programs previously responsible for regulating commercial cannabis activity.
To learn more about the California cannabis market, state licenses and laws, and to locate legal cannabis retailers near you, visit www.cannabis.ca.gov.