The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Traceability Advisory Committee convened between January 2017 and August 2019 to discuss cannabis supply chain transparency in Washington state. The Committee was composed of agency staff, traceability software vendor representatives, industry stakeholders, a representative from the Washington State Office of the Chief Information Officer (WA OCIO), and a quality assurance vendor.
The Committee learned about aggregate monthly retail sales figures for cannabis followed by a discussion of traceability identifiers and documentation of workarounds for problems with MJ Freeway's software.
Here are some observations from the Tuesday April 24th Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Traceability Advisory Committee meeting.
My top 3 takeaways:
- WSLCB CFO Jim Morgan presented aggregate monthly retail sales figures compiled from contingency period data and the first month of transactions under the MJ Freeway Leaf traceability system (slide with figures, transcript, audio). Although the three-month window of data shows retail sales may not have been depreciably impacted, Committee member Lindsay Short (Db3) pointed out many retailers stocked up in preparation for the Leaf launch so the upcoming data for March could tell a different story. Committee member Susy Wilson (Cannabis Farmers Council) emphasized the retail sales figures say nothing about the impacts widely endured by producers, processors, and transporters. As a result, WSLCB will be generating and sharing additional analyses.
- As part of discussion about the source data, WSLCB shared a rough timeline for delivery of a Business Intelligence (BI) Engine that will connect MJ Freeway Leaf and WSLCB’s Socrata-based open data portal. This integration will provide public access to traceability data, although not at the granularity made available by the previous traceability provider via public records requests to the WSLCB. However, the data will be available in near-realtime and accessible via a well-documented and stable API. WSLCB may be open to conversation about changing the data made available.
- MJ Freeway’s traceability identifiers (GUIDs) were the subject of a dedicated segment by WSLCB MJ Examiner Administrator Peter Corier (transcript, audio) and were also a contributing cause for WSLCB Policy and Rules Coordinator Joanna Eide’s segment on Sales Below Acquisition Cost (transcript, audio). WSLCB appears to be committed to studying the many different challenges introduced by MJ Freeway’s GUID format and behaviors – but is not prepared to say what, if any, changes licensees can expect.
- WSLCB will be making a better effort to keep their documentation of workarounds for problems with the MJ Freeway Leaf system up-to-date and accessible directly from online help within Leaf (workarounds document, transcript, audio). There are currently 25 documented workarounds.