4 min read

How Marijuana Dispensaries Can Optimize Inventory for Metrc

December 6, 2019

California cannabis retailers are in the midst of a transition as all temporary license holders have now acquired either a provisional license or an annual license. Licensed marijuana dispensaries are finally starting the process of reporting their sales and inventory to the state. The California Cannabis Track-and-Trace system is powered by Metrc reporting software and dispensaries have had little support from the state or Metrc in regards to reporting their existing inventory. 

Annual and provisional license holders have just 30 days to report any inventory discrepancies. It’s so crucial to keep your product counts as precise as possible and if the count has a variance greater than 3% of your dispensary’s average monthly sales, the BCC will flag you account as having significant discrepancies. Often times this will trigger a full on audit by state agencies or result in punitive fees. 

This is quickly become a sticking point for store owners and managers, as any inventory discrepancy could jeopardize their business license. Fortunately, cannabis POS software can integrate with Metrc to automate reporting. However, there are a few ways marijuana dispensaries can prevent discrepancies and optimize inventory management. 

Breaking Up Metrc Batches

One thing marijuana dispensaries need to be aware of is that Metrc tracks packages rather than products. No matter how you decide to break up these batches, it’s essential to note what products come from which package. While you might have several pre-packaged products that are the same increment of weight, mixing products from separate batches is a quick way to throw off your count. 

Audit with RFID Labels

One of the best ways to keep an accurate count of all of your inventory is to attach RFID labels to all of your products. Intelligent dispensary software like IndicaOnline will integrate with state-of-the-art RFID scanners that allow staff to perform storewide audits in matter of minutes. 

Employees simply have to activate the scanner, point it in the direction of all products with an RFID tag, and the software automatically calculates the ‘expected inventory’ versus the ‘actual inventory’ revealing any discrepancies on the spot. This technological advancement will not only save time and money on resources, it will be transformative in streamlining how cannabis retailers audit their inventory.

Sealing Cannabis Batches

Another inventory best practice is to clearly label and seal any package that will not be going directly onto your dispensary shelves. Any Metrc batch containing products that will be stored, should be labelled with the precise count, date, and initialed by the staff member conducting the count. 

It’s also a good idea to instruct your staff to go one step further and place the label across the opening of the package as a seal with their initials on each end of the label. This will deter any unauthorized employees from opening the batch and potentially sabotaging your inventory count.

Tracking Inventory Adjustments

At some point all marijuana dispensaries experience discrepancies, and understanding how to record them is an integral part of maintaining compliance. There are several adjustments that staff must record in their POS system. Common Metrc adjustments include the amount of display units, testing samples, product spoilage, mold, or similar problems that call for product destruction. 

Dispensary sales associates are an important part of your team, but all humans occasionally make mistakes. It’s always important to match up how much and what was sold with how much is documented in your software. Having transactions records will help retailers identify what products are falling through the cracks and how it’s happening. These records will also be helpful in the event that the state audits and inspects your dispensary.

Inventory Compliance Manager

Hiring an inventory manager with a deep knowledge of compliance requirements will behoove your storefront. Having a dedicated employee responsible for taking in new packages and adding them into the inventory will increase efficiency and organization. If you plan to promote one of staff to compliance manager find someone who is detail-oriented, reliable, and familiar with your inventory. 

When discrepancies do occur, having a single person in charge of inventory will make them easier to spot and reduce the chance of any inconsistencies. They will need to complete the Metrc training before they receive their Metrc credentials, but most adjustments can be made directly in the point-of-sale software. 

Invest in Reliable Software

Fortunately, Metrc does integrate with cannabis POS providers, but before selecting your software you should check to make sure they are a validated software provider. It’s also a good idea to speak directly to the compliance support team for dispensary software to ensure the integration is truly fully managed by the POS. 

Before making a big investment, marijuana dispensary owners want to know that the automated reporting will be reliable and that the support team is there to assist if need be. IndicaOnline offers both for licensed cannabis retailers, and the new RFID scanner will revolutionize how dispensaries audit their inventory.