6 min read

How to Stay Metrc Compliant in Maryland 2024

June 3, 2024

In Maryland, both medical marijuana (MMJ) and recreational cannabis are legal. Since 2017, a medical marijuana program has allowed patients with qualifying conditions to use it. Additionally, adults 21 and over have been legally permitted to possess and purchase cannabis for recreational use since July 2023. Maintaining compliance with the Metrc system in Maryland is crucial for dispensary owners. Metrc (Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance) is a state-mandated seed-to-sale tracking system that ensures the entire cannabis supply chain is monitored and regulated. This guide provides essential information to help you remain compliant in 2024. 

Understanding Metrc

Metrc is designed to track cannabis from seed to sale using RFID technology and a secure database. This system ensures all products are accounted for at every stage of the supply chain, helping to maintain public health and safety by preventing diversion and ensuring compliance with state regulations. Following Metrc regulations isn’t just about staying legal. It’s crucial for your cannabis business to thrive. IndicaOnline offers an RFID inventory scanner that gives a comprehensive and immediate overview of your dispensary, enabling a complete 360-degree view of inventory across all locations.

Step-by-Step Guide to Using Metrc

  1.  System Access and Setup:
  • Create an Account: Start by creating a Metrc account through the Maryland Metrc portal.
  • Obtain Credentials: Ensure all employees who will use Metrc have completed the necessary registration and received their login credentials.

2.  Trainings:

  • Initial Training: Complete the initial training provided by Metrc. This can be accessed via the Metrc Learn Portal, where various courses are available to build foundational knowledge. 
  • Advanced Training: For more complex operations, take advanced courses available through Metrc Learn to ensure comprehensive understanding and proficiency. 

3. RFID Tagging:

  • Tagging Plants and Products: All cannabis plants and products must be tagged with Metrc RFID tags, which provide unique identifiers for tracking purposes. RFID tags emit a signal readable by scanners, enabling accurate tracking of cannabis products throughout the supply chain.
  • Regular Updates: Regularly update the system with the status of each tagged item, including growth stages and product transformations.

License holders order their tags directly from Metrc, and the cost of these tags is included in their license fees. The track-and-trace system utilizes technology to monitor the movement of cannabis products. This involves using equipment and software to manage supply chains, prevent losses like theft, and identify areas for improvement

4. Data Entry and Inventory Management:

  • Accurate Data Entry: Log all transactions, movements, and inventory adjustments in real time to maintain a clear chain of custody.
  • Daily Reporting: Submit daily reports detailing inventory changes, including sales, transfers, and disposals.

5. Compliance Audits:

  • Conduct Regular Audits: Regularly audit your physical inventory against Metrc records to identify and resolve discrepancies promptly.
  • Resolve Issues: Address any discrepancies or compliance issues immediately to avoid penalties.

6. Security and Access Control:

  • Manage Access: Ensure that only authorized personnel have access to the Metrc system. Regularly update passwords and user permissions.
  • Maintain Data Integrity: Keep accurate records of all transactions to ensure compliance and facilitate inspections.

Licensing and Certification for Maryland Dispensaries

In Maryland, both medical marijuana and recreational cannabis are legal, with programs in place to regulate and monitor their use. Dispensary owners must adhere to strict licensing and certification requirements to operate legally.

  1. Application Process:
  • Eligibility: The Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA) requires that applicants for dispensary licenses meet specific eligibility criteria. The first round of applications is limited to social equity applicants, defined as entities where 65% or greater ownership is held by a verified social equity applicant. IndicaOnline offers a social equity program in order to create an equitable ownership and employment environment in the cannabis industry.
  • Documentation: Applicants must submit comprehensive documentation, including business plans, diversity plans, and operational plans.

2. Compliance with Regulations:

Dispensaries must comply with all state regulations outlined in the Maryland Code and the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR). This includes security measures, product testing, and reporting requirements.

3. Key Compliance Requirements:

  • Accurate Record-Keeping

Maintain detailed records of all cannabis transactions, including purchases, sales, and inventory adjustments. This data must be accurately entered into the Metrc system to ensure full traceability.

Integrate Metrc with your POS system and inventory management tools. Consider advanced solutions like IndicaOnline’s RFID inventory scanner for precise and efficient stock control, minimizing manual data entry.

  • Security Measures

Implement robust security measures to prevent unauthorized access to cannabis products and the Metrc system. This includes physical security at the dispensary and cybersecurity for your Metrc account.

  • Regular Audits

Conduct routine internal audits and reconciliations (weekly/monthly inventory checks) to identify and rectify discrepancies promptly, ensuring physical inventory aligns with Metrc records.

  • Stay Informed

You can stay up-to-date with any changes in state regulations or Metrc requirements by regularly reviewing updates from the Maryland Cannabis Administration and Metrc. This will help you adapt quickly to any new compliance requirements.​

Metrc Tags Differentiation 

Source: Metrc

  • Metrc Plant Tags

Metrc plant tags serve as unique identifiers, including the facility name, license number, application identifier (medical or recreational), tag order date, and a unique plant identification number.

  • Metrc Package Tags

Metrc package tags are stickers on each package, each with a unique 24-digit package number. Every package contains only one type of product. Package tags are ordered directly from Metrc. Authorized users can log into Metrc, navigate to Admin > Tag Orders > New Tag Order, enter the required details, and click Place Order.

Metrc Tagging Costs:

  • Plants: Metrc tracks plants in two stages: immature and flowering. Immature plants (up to 100 per group) are entered as a single “immature plant lot,” each receiving the same unique ID tag. Once flowering begins, each plant gets its own unique tag. The cost of plant tags is $0.45 each.
  • Packages: These are created from various sources, such as immature plants, harvested batches, lab samples, and other packages. The cost of package tags is $0.25 each.

Ensure Metrc Compliance with Integrated POS

To ensure effective Metrc compliance, selecting a point-of-sale (POS) system compatible with Metrc is essential. The best POS systems provide tools for managing and monitoring your Metrc account clearly and entirely under your control. For example, IndicaOnline offers a robust POS system fully integrated with Metrc. Integration helps dispensaries maintain accurate records and stay compliant effortlessly.

This integration offers two critical benefits. First, it guarantees compliance with all applicable state regulations. Second, it facilitates more efficient and accurate tracking of inventory, sales data, and other vital information. This translates to significant time and cost savings for the dispensary while minimizing the risk of errors that could prove expensive.

Maryland Metrc Compliance Made Simple

Staying Metrc compliant in Maryland involves understanding the system’s requirements, maintaining accurate records, and staying informed about regulatory changes. By following the guidelines outlined above and leveraging available resources, dispensary owners can ensure they operate within the law and contribute to a safe and transparent cannabis market.

Maintaining accurate data across physical inventory, POS, and Metrc requires precise workflows. IndicaOnline offers an efficient cannabis inventory management solution. It streamlines discrepancy management, simplifies package management, and enables retailers to maintain control of their data at all times. IndicaOnline is dedicated to supporting businesses from launch. This frees dispensaries to focus solely on delivering the top-notch customer service your clients deserve. Schedule a demo today and witness the difference IndicaOnline can bring to your business.