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.
MJ Freeway misses another deadline, but data-driven traceability alerts are coming and the integrators will be certified.
Here are some observations from the November 8th Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Traceability Advisory Committee meeting.
My top 3 takeaways:
- The next release of MJ Freeway Leaf has been postponed to January 1, 2019 (audio).
- The last contract amendment set a release date of November 5, 2018.
- The last contract amendment also specified liquidated damages would be assessed to MJ Freeway in the event of missed deadlines at a rate of $3750 per day until the release is deployed.
- The committee confirmed this contract provision is activated, but further questioning revealed the actual assessment will be negotiated between WSLCB and MJ Freeway depending on which party was responsible for delays.
- The committee confirmed the penalties will be paid to WSLCB as money owed by MJ Freeway.
- Two additional releases have been pushed back to January 22nd and January 31st.
- All three remaining releases were contracted for deployment in 2018 before the expiration of the current contract amendment on January 10th. The committee confirmed another contract amendment will be necessary.
- WSLCB Cannabis Examiner Program Manager Kendra Hodgson updated the committee on the automated alert system being built for WSLCB by MJ Freeway (audio).
- WSLCB staff from the Cannabis Examiners, Enforcement, Licensing, and Audit created a prioritized list of 46 data-driven alerts intended to bring traceability events of interest to their attention.
- As part of their original contract, MJ Freeway is tasked with creating a configurable alerts dashboard using the Qlik business intelligence tool. WSLCB staff will be able to refine and filter views of the alerts generated within Qlik.
- No code changes in Leaf are necessary, as the Qlik service is configured to ingest a replica of the Washington traceability database every few hours.
- The integrity of the data in Leaf is a growing concern for committee members and agency staff. Hodgson discussed the agency’s ideas on how to approach the challenge. Gregory Foster suggested a data and system audit might be a job for the State Auditor’s Office.
- WSLCB CIO Mary Mueller updated the committee on plans to develop an Integrator Standards and Certification Program (audio).
- Currently, third-party software providers must register with WSLCB and demonstrate basic technical proficiencies to gain access to the Leaf API interface.
- Security incidents and data problems attributed to integrator systems are presented as reasons why the WSLCB has begun to develop a first-of-its-kind program to more strictly vet third-party providers before awarding certifications which may be subsequently revoked.
- The agency intends to hire a new Program Specialist in early 2019 to create the program and serve as the primary point of contact with third-party providers.
- The program will be developed in collaboration with a small group of subject matter experts including some representation from current third-party providers.