Seed-to-sale bid protest rejected – with a reassurance that there will be no costs passed onto industry

Seed-to-sale bid protest rejected – with a reassurance that there will be no costs passed onto industry

By Rachael Dunn

A bid protest against the state’s contract for medical marijuana seed-to-sale software has been rejected, but not without the state making it clear that there will be no allowance for variable costs.

The winning bidder, Metrc, uses RFID tags to track plants and charges a cost per plant for each tag. The state’s contract did not allow variable costs, which a per-plant tag would incur. The protest was rejected because the winning bidder listed $0 for variable costs.

“The RFP required that all prices to be charged by the vendor for its contractual obligations be included in the proposal’s Exhibit A,” says the protest. “The proposal accepted by the Division did not include variable prices in its Exhibit A. That proposal, therefore, did not propose to authorize Metrc to charge variable prices–to licensees or to the State–for the vendor’s contractual obligations.  And the resulting contract between Metrc and the State does not authorize Metrc to do so.”

BioTrackTHC’s protest of Metrc’s winning of the contract with the tag cost was contingent on the variable cost argument, citing a case in Washington where Metrc withdrew their bid ultimately because they would not be allowed to charge a per-tag fee to the industry.

The tags cost between $0.25-0.45 per tag.

MoCannTrade applauded the reassurance of no variable costs.

“The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the Parson administration continue a sharp track record of acting in the best interest of Missouri patients and industry,” Jack Cardetti, spokesman for MoCannTrade, said. “Today the state announced that Missouri’s seed-to-sale tracking contract does not allow hidden costs to be passed along to medical marijuana license holders. This latest development demonstrates Missouri’s program is being run effectively and this decision ensures that patients and facilities will be protected from any hidden fees, which have driven up costs to patients in other states.”


BioTrackTHC applauded the protest result, calling it a “win for the entire industry.”

“The significant costs that can be associated with RFID tags in many existing state cannabis programs are highly burdensome to businesses and in turn, create higher product costs that are passed onto the patients/consumers,” said BioTrackTHC spokesman Jeff Gonring. “We are pleased that the results of the protest reaffirm that additional variable costs to the licensees or the State will not be allowed.”

Contract negotiations were stalled between Metrc and the state because of the protest, but can now re-open. In other states, Metrc has bid $0 on variable costs with the intent to negotiate these costs after the contract has been awarded.

The bid protest also stalled work on state-side information infrastructure development by Metrc, with sources saying the software would not be ready for input of patient care card applications on July 4, 2019. Sources have told Greenway Magazine Metrc has met with the state twice since winning the contract initially.

Read the bid protest result: