On July 31, the state of Washington agreed to extend its contract with MJ Freeway for state Liquor Handle Board’s marijuana traceability plan. 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 plan and MJ Freeway have been fraught with glitches, hacks and other complications, as reported by Freedom Leaf, for years.
MJ Freeway began with such terrific guarantee. It was 1 of the initial seed-to-sale tracking systems to enter the marketplace. The founders employed their encounter in the banking market and in technologies to produce a tracking and point-of-sale technique that could be employed by nearby corporations and state agencies. They employed their marketing and advertising savvy to safe a number of state contracts and come to be a marketplace leader.
The troubles started with hacks into MJ Freeway’s technique. Difficulties began displaying up in the underlying code, not just causing minor annoyances or occasional glitches, but complete-on technique-wide shutdowns.
Some referred to as on the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) to fire MJ Freeway and implement a diverse technique, however Washington refused to give up on the enterprise and its Leaf Information Systems marijuana traceability technique. Difficulties continued to plague the tracking technique, as we followed up in 2018.
Then, on July 23, 2019, the LCB released this new advisory to state licensed cannabis corporations:
“Effective quickly, the LCB will let licensees, labs and integrators flexibility to create workarounds to complications straight connected with the lab test information and manifest facts that stay unresolved by current fixes to the technique.”
In other words, this technique is a hot mess that we nonetheless can not figure out how to repair, so get inventive and retain your personal records. And do a very good job since in the finish your business enterprise and your licenses to operate rely on it.
A History of Hacks, Delays, Glitches and Dangers
Washington’s Workplace of the Chief Information and facts Officer (OCIO), which is accountable for overseeing implementation of the state’s marijuana traceability plan, 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 substantial enhance in the threat noted inside a number of categories. The General Project Overall health and Atmosphere, Time Management and Price Management have elevated to higher threat along with Top quality Management and Stakeholder Management.”
The only genuine constructive note in the report was that Project Integration Management was rated low threat, although it says that the threat connected with that location “has elevated slightly as the quantity of overdue tasks continues to develop.”
In spite of it all, Washington is maintaining its faith in the Leaf Information Systems marijuana traceability technique engineered by MJ Freeway.
Remaining categories in the report – Scope Management, Human Resource Management, Communications Management, Danger Management and Procurement Management – have been assessed at moderate threat.
These continuing complications and delays in implementation are themselves causing really serious disruptions to cannabis corporations, 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 extra time for release represented extra 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 alterations coming to the production atmosphere would knowingly interrupt reporting on the production, transportation and sale of cannabis and cannabis-infused goods.”
It didn’t aid that the LCB moved its whole headquarters, such as its personal computer gear, to a new place in June. But that is not what brought on these complications.
The Difficulty with Seed-Sale Tracking Systems
Legislators and law enforcement have been sold on the notion of seed-to-sale tracking as a way to stop diversion. The notion that just hanging an RFID tag on a plant would somehow let folks to track the person flowers that develop on that plant is laughable.
These seed-to-sale tracking systems are fundamentally big sets of databases that growers, processors, distributors and retailers can access into and to which they’re necessary to enter facts. There’s no 1 hunting more than their shoulder or checking – so substantially of it is on the honor technique – so all that genuinely counts is folks enter their information in timely and constant manner.
Because these are massive, complex systems, it is achievable to really feel some sympathy for MJ Freeway. On the other hand, none of the other providers in this space, like BiotrackTHC and Franwell’s Metrc, are experiencing the sorts of disruptions and, for lack of a much 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 threat and we need to have aid to mitigate it.” The project met its July 15 due date for a new release, however “there have been a lot of substantial application, database and architectural difficulties 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 technique 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 May well 2018 and became board chair, then left the enterprise this previous June. Their other co-founder, former president/COO Jessica Billingsley, is now CEO of the newly formed enterprise, the Akerna Corporation (NASDAQ:KERN). Even with all of these corporate machinations, Washington nonetheless refers to the enterprise as the substantially-maligned MJ Freeway.
MJ Freeway’s Seed-to-Sale Software program Dilemma
Freedom Leaf Interview with BiotrackTHC’s Patrick Vo
Seed-to-Sale Tracking: How It Operates