Written by Amanda Drapes on Apr 26, 2021
As we all know, the terminology across the cannabis industry is inconsistent and often vague. Enter Metrc where at times it may seem like half the battle is figuring out what it is exactly you are expected to put in each line item, or what button creates clones, vs packages, vs split plant groups. Luckily, we have already been through that learning curve and are here to help guide you.
As we've experienced the Metrc rollout across California, Oregon, Michigan, Oklahoma and other states over the past year, we've found recurring confusion on the same terms within Metrc and how those terms apply to Metrc, the physical cultivation process, and management tools like GroLens, so we built a digestible quick look guide to the 6 most questioned and misunderstood terms we've encountered.
RFID tags refer to the physical plant and package tags you order through Metrc that allow states the ability to automatically and uniquely identify and track and trace inventory and assets. RFID technology makes tags so they are able to be read without a line of sight and, depending on the type of RFID, having a read range between a few centimeters to over 20+ meters. The COTS RFID tags assigned to you are programmed by Metrc and are specifically assigned to that facility. Tags cannot be moved, reassigned, or reused.
The RFID tag is made up of several components, the RFID chip, the antenna the chip uses to send and receive its unique ID number with the substrate the RFID tag is attached to. This assembly is referred to as an RFID inlay and shown in the figure below.
Cultivations will receive two types of RFID tags, plant and package, with plant packages utilized to track your plants pre-harvest, and package post-harvest.
Zones / Rooms / Locations
Zones, Rooms, and Locations are all used interchangeably to reference the locations used to house your plants and product throughout any part of the growth process. These locations should be created in your GroLens upon creation of your account and will push to Metrc automatically, but can also also be added at any time. Some best practices to help keep you compliant:
Source Package Tag ID:
'Source Package Tag IDs' are the Metrc package tag numbers assigned to your clones/seeds/flower while in package form. These tag numbers are located by going to Metrc > Packages > Active. The request for these would apply to multiple situations and serve different but similar functions as outlined below:
'Items' are what defines the contents of your Metrc packages and are specific to each package's strain, category, and unit of measure. The Item 'category' options vary from state to state but in general all will include: flower, immature plants, kief, seeds, shake (trim), whole wet plant (fresh frozen), waste etc.
Immature and Mature Plants
Plants are designated as immature and mature differently by state, however, in all states it is referring to the age and current state of growth the plants are actively in.
All new plantings (seed and clone) populate as Immature plants upon creation and are grouped and identified in plant groups to manage the high-loss probability within this phase.
Mature plants are considered plants post veg while in the Flowering stage and are found under the Flower tab/column in both Metrc and GroLens. In states like California, Colorado, and Oregon, individual tags are applied as plants are moved into the Mature/Flower phase, while in states like MI and OK, individual tags would have already been applied in the Vegetative phase.
Waste is defined as any byproduct removed from a cannabis plant to be disposed of. Waste must be rendered 'unrecognizable' prior to disposal, and the methods for disposal are defined by each state. Waste must be recorded in Metrc, most states allow submission within 3 days of waste creation, but in Oklahoma, OMMA requires it be recorded same-day. Waste can be reported by Immature Batch, individual plant, groups of plants, or Room. So basically, any part of a cannabis plant disposed of should be treated as waste and weighed, recorded, and rendered unrecognizable.