8 min read

How to Stay Metrc Compliant in Oklahoma in 2024

July 5, 2024

Staying Metrc compliant in Oklahoma is essential for the success and legality of any cannabis business operating within the state. The Metrc system, mandated by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), serves as a comprehensive tracking tool designed to ensure every phase of cannabis production and distribution is meticulously monitored. From seed to sale, Metrc captures detailed data that helps maintain transparency and regulatory adherence within the rapidly growing cannabis industry in Oklahoma.

OMMA has partnered with Metrc to create a standardized tracking system that enhances regulatory efficiency and helps prevent illicit market activities. This partnership requires all licensed cannabis businesses in Oklahoma to integrate Metrc into their operations, covering everything from planting and harvesting to packaging and retail sales. Compliance with Metrc is not only a legal requirement but also a critical component of operational integrity and public safety.

In this blog post, we will examine the specifics of Metrc compliance in Oklahoma, offering a comprehensive guide to help cannabis businesses handle the complexities of the system. From setting up your Metrc account to understanding the reporting requirements and penalties for non-compliance, this guide aims to provide valuable insights and practical tips for staying compliant in 2024.

Understanding Metrc

Metrc, or Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance, is a comprehensive seed-to-sale tracking system designed to monitor the entire lifecycle of cannabis products. The system plays a critical role in the cannabis industry by providing a robust framework for regulatory compliance and ensuring transparency in the cultivation, production, and distribution of cannabis.

The core functionality of Metrc revolves around tracking and tracing every cannabis plant and product through a unique tagging system. Each plant is assigned an individual identifier in the form of a plant tag, which remains with the plant throughout its growth cycle. Once the plant is harvested, the tags follow the product through various stages, including processing, packaging, and final sale. This method of seed-to-sale tracking ensures every step of the cannabis supply chain is documented and can be audited if necessary.

Moreover, Metrc’s data-driven approach facilitates better decision-making for both businesses and regulators: Businesses can use Metrc to optimize their operations, while regulators can analyze industry trends and compliance levels. 

Setting Up Metrc

Setting up a Metrc account is a crucial first step for cannabis businesses to achieve Metrc compliance in Oklahoma. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

  1. Register Your Business: First, ensure your business is registered with the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), because you will need a valid OMMA license to create a Metrc account.
  2. Create a Metrc Account: Visit the Metrc website and go to the Oklahoma-specific page where you can find the option to create a new account. You will need to provide your OMMA license number and other relevant business information. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the registration process​.
  3. Attend Training: Metrc requires new users to complete mandatory training before gaining full access to their account. This is essential for understanding how to use the Metrc system effectively. You can register for training sessions through the Metrc website, which offers both online webinars and in-person classes​.
  4. Obtain Plant and Package Tags: After setting up your account, order plant and package tags directly from Metrc. These tags are crucial for tracking and tracing your cannabis products through the entire supply chain. Ensure you have enough tags to cover all your plants and products​.
  5. Integrate with Existing Systems: Integrate Metrc with your existing business systems, such as inventory management and point of sale (POS) systems. This helps streamline operations and ensures seamless data transfer between systems, maintaining accurate and up-to-date records for compliance purposes​​.
  6. Regular Updates and Maintenance: Keep your Metrc account updated with accurate information. Regularly log in to your account to input data, monitor inventory, and ensure all transactions are recorded correctly. Stay informed about any system updates or changes in compliance requirements through Metrc bulletins and OMMA announcements​.

Compliance Requirements

Maintaining compliance with Metrc in Oklahoma involves adhering to several stringent reporting requirements and protocols to ensure all cannabis operations are transparent and traceable. Here’s a detailed overview of what’s required:

Monthly Reporting Requirements: Cannabis businesses in Oklahoma are mandated to report all sales, transports, and waste disposal activities monthly through the Metrc system. Reports must be submitted by the 15th of each month, detailing the previous month’s activities. For instance, the report for activities in June is due by July 15. Businesses with zero inventory must also report this status using Metrc’s Operational Exception function​​.

Tracking Inventory: Metrc requires comprehensive tracking of all cannabis plants and products from seed to sale. As previously mentioned, each plant must be tagged with a unique identifier and these tags must follow the product through all stages of production, processing, and distribution. Accurate inventory tracking is crucial for compliance; businesses must ensure all data entered into Metrc is precise and up-to-date. This includes tracking changes in inventory levels due to sales, transfers, or waste disposal​​.

Handling Discrepancies: Discrepancies in inventory or reporting must be addressed promptly. Businesses are required to reconcile any differences between physical inventory and Metrc records, and failure to resolve discrepancies can lead to compliance violations and potential fines. Regular audits and inventory checks can help identify and correct discrepancies before they become significant issues​.

Critical Deadlines and Common Pitfalls: Key deadlines include the monthly reporting due on the 15th and any specific compliance dates set by OMMA, such as inventory reconciliation deadlines. Common pitfalls include failing to maintain accurate and timely records, neglecting to report zero inventory, and not staying updated with Metrc system changes or regulatory updates. Businesses should establish internal compliance protocols to avoid these issues and ensure all staff are trained on Metrc requirements​​.

Tracking and Tagging

Plant Tags: Plant tags are used to monitor the growth and development of cannabis plants from the moment they are planted. Each tag includes a unique identifier that is linked to the plant’s data in the Metrc system. This tag stays with the plant throughout its lifecycle, capturing critical information such as planting date, growth phases, and eventual harvest. Properly attaching and maintaining these tags is vital for ensuring all plant-related activities are accurately recorded and can be traced back if needed​.

Package Tags: Once a cannabis plant is harvested and processed, it is divided into various products, each of which must be assigned a package tag. These provide detailed information about the cannabis product, including its origin, processing details, and final form. Metrc packages require accurate tagging to ensure all products can be traced back to their source plants, maintaining a transparent and accountable supply chain. Package tags are essential for tracking products through processing, distribution, and final sale​​.

Training and Support

Metrc Training: New users are required to complete the mandatory training provided by Metrc. These sessions cover all aspects of the Metrc system, from initial setup and tagging procedures to reporting requirements and inventory management. Businesses can register for training through the Metrc website​.

OMMA Resources: OMMA supports licensees by providing additional training materials and resources, which includes detailed guides, instructional videos, and the FAQs available on the OMMA website. OMMA also conducts periodic webinars and workshops to help businesses stay updated on compliance requirements and best practices for using the Metrc system​​.

Contact and Support: For any issues or questions related to Metrc, businesses should first contact Metrc support. The Metrc Call Center is available at 877-566-6506, and email support can be reached at support@metrc.com. For issues requiring OMMA’s intervention, the OMMA Call Center can be contacted at 405-522-6662​​.

Penalties and Enforcement

Penalties for Non-Compliance: Businesses failing to comply with Metrc requirements may face fines, license suspensions, or even revocation. For instance, OMMA imposes a standard fine of $500 for certain violations related to Metrc compliance, and repeated or severe infractions can result in higher fines and more severe administrative actions​​.

Role of OMMA in Inspections and Enforcement: OMMA is responsible for conducting regular compliance inspections and audits of all licensed cannabis businesses. These inspections ensure businesses adhere to Metrc reporting requirements, maintain accurate inventory records, and properly manage plant and package tags. OMMA inspectors may visit businesses unannounced to conduct these audits and verify compliance​​.

Staying Compliant: To stay compliant, businesses should establish robust internal protocols for using Metrc, which includes regular training for staff, consistent inventory checks, and prompt reporting of any discrepancies. Keeping up to date with Metrc bulletins and OMMA announcements is also essential for staying informed about any changes in compliance requirements. Businesses can also seek assistance from Metrc and OMMA support centers for guidance on compliance issues​.

Best Practices

Real-Time Tracking: Implement real-time tracking to maintain up-to-date records of all cannabis products. Use the Metrc system to log all activities as they occur, from planting and harvesting to processing and sales. Real-time tracking helps prevent discrepancies and ensures all data is current and accurate​.

Integration with Point of Sale (POS) Systems: Integrating Metrc with your existing POS system can enhance operational efficiency significantly. This integration allows for automatic updates of sales and inventory data in Metrc, reducing manual entry errors and ensuring accurate record-keeping. Many POS systems compatible with Metrc offer seamless data transfer and synchronization capabilities​.

Regular Audits: Conduct regular internal audits to verify all Metrc data matches your physical inventory. Regular audits help identify and correct discrepancies before they lead to compliance issues. Schedule these audits at consistent intervals and involve multiple team members to ensure thorough checks​​.