On July 31, the state of Washington agreed to extend its contract with MJ Freeway for state Liquor Manage Board’s marijuana traceability system. The contract runs by means of September 30.
A 3-month extension to a state contract such as this wouldn’t ordinarily price a headline, but the Marijuana Traceability System in Washington is no ordinary contract. The system and MJ Freeway have been fraught with glitches, hacks and other difficulties, as reported by Freedom Leaf, for years.
MJ Freeway began with such wonderful guarantee. It was a single of the very first seed-to-sale tracking systems to enter the industry. The founders employed their expertise in the banking business and in technologies to develop a tracking and point-of-sale method that could be employed by nearby companies and state agencies. They employed their advertising savvy to safe a number of state contracts and turn into a industry leader.
The troubles started with hacks into MJ Freeway’s method. Issues began displaying up in the underlying code, not just causing minor annoyances or occasional glitches, but complete-on method-wide shutdowns.
Some known as on the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) to fire MJ Freeway and implement a various method, however Washington refused to give up on the business and its Leaf Information Systems marijuana traceability method. Issues continued to plague the tracking method, as we followed up in 2018.
Then, on July 23, 2019, the LCB released this new advisory to state licensed cannabis companies:
“Effective straight away, the LCB will enable licensees, labs and integrators flexibility to create workarounds to difficulties straight related with the lab test information and manifest data that stay unresolved by current fixes to the method.”
In other words, this method is a hot mess that we nevertheless can not figure out how to repair, so get inventive and retain your personal records. And do a very good job due to the fact in the finish your organization and your licenses to operate rely on it.
A History of Hacks, Delays, Glitches and Dangers
Washington’s Workplace of the Chief Data Officer (OCIO), which is accountable for overseeing implementation of the state’s marijuana traceability system, contracted with Stellar Associates, LLC, to carry out month-to-month high-quality assessments. On July 24, the OCIO’s report for the June 2019 critique period stated, “There has been a considerable boost in the danger noted inside a number of categories. The All round Project Overall health and Atmosphere, Time Management and Expense Management have improved to higher danger along with Top quality Management and Stakeholder Management.”
The only genuine constructive note in the report was that Project Integration Management was rated low danger, although it says that the danger related with that location “has improved slightly as the quantity of overdue tasks continues to construct.”
In spite of it all, Washington is maintaining its faith in the Leaf Information Systems marijuana traceability method engineered by MJ Freeway.
Remaining categories in the report – Scope Management, Human Resource Management, Communications Management, Threat Management and Procurement Management – have been assessed at moderate danger.
These continuing difficulties and delays in implementation are themselves causing severe disruptions to cannabis companies, which could hurt shoppers by limiting access to goods. For instance, the report pointed out, “After analyzing the situations, LCB determined that the integrators who reported they have been not prepared and necessary far more time for release represented far more than 60% of the licensees. Implementing release as planned in early June with significantly less than 40% of the licensees reporting they have been prepared for the adjustments coming to the production atmosphere would knowingly interrupt reporting on the production, transportation and sale of cannabis and cannabis-infused merchandise.”
It didn’t assist that the LCB moved its complete headquarters, like its laptop gear, to a new place in June. But that is not what triggered these difficulties.
The Challenge with Seed-Sale Tracking Systems
Legislators and law enforcement have been sold on the concept of seed-to-sale tracking as a way to protect against diversion. The concept that just hanging an RFID tag on a plant would somehow enable men and women to track the person flowers that develop on that plant is laughable.
These seed-to-sale tracking systems are generally significant sets of databases that growers, processors, distributors and retailers can access into and to which they’re needed to enter data. There’s no a single searching more than their shoulder or checking – so a great deal of it is on the honor method – so all that genuinely counts is men and women enter their information in timely and constant manner.
Because these are huge, complex systems, it is attainable to really feel some sympathy for MJ Freeway. On the other hand, none of the other firms in this space, like BiotrackTHC and Franwell’s Metrc, are experiencing the sorts of disruptions and, for lack of a far better word, failures that MJ Freeway has been accountable for.
It got worse. On July 31 – the day that the LCB extended its contract with MJ Freeway – the marijuana traceability project issued a status report displaying the general project status was code red, which means “high danger and we have to have assist to mitigate it.” The project met its July 15 due date for a new release, however “there have been lots of considerable computer software, database and architectural challenges with the release that negatively impacted our shoppers.”
In spite of it all, Washington is maintaining its faith in the Leaf Information Systems marijuana traceability method engineered by MJ Freeway, which merged with MTech Acquisition Corp. in June.
MJ Freeway co-founder Amy Poinsett stepped down as CEO of MJ Freeway in Could 2018 and became board chair, then left the business this previous June. Their other co-founder, former president/COO Jessica Billingsley, is now CEO of the newly formed business, the Akerna Corporation (NASDAQ:KERN). Even with all of these corporate machinations, Washington nevertheless refers to the business as the a great deal-maligned MJ Freeway.
MJ Freeway’s Seed-to-Sale Application Dilemma
Freedom Leaf Interview with BiotrackTHC’s Patrick Vo
Seed-to-Sale Tracking: How It Functions