Metrc sues state to clarify ability to collect fees


Metrc, the Florida-based company selected earlier this year to administer the state’s seed to sale tracking system has now filed a lawsuit against the state.

The lawsuit stems from Metrc’s practice of charging businesses for the RFID tags used to track inventory and plants. Metrc contends that officials have provided conflicting information about what the company is, and is not, allowed to charge to a business.

Earlier this year Greenway broke down how important RFID tags are to METRC’s model.

RFID tags are a big part of their framework

The central control of security for the software is through RFID secure tags. RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags are added by seedlings which are then added to the plants when they are large enough to support the tags. Still don’t know what RFID is? You probably see it more than you think. RFID is used by libraries and kiosk rental kiosks, big box retailers, and even race organizers – actual races – to track runners.

RFID can be battery operated or passive. Metrc uses passive RFID tags, meaning they have no battery and are simply a tag used for tracking purposes that can be read by tag readers equipped to update the program.

Each tag cost $0.45 to make. Metrc says the tags are “highly secure.”
Metrc commissions and serializes plant and package tags, delivering them to licensees, on behalf of the contracted government. Metrc touts the RFIDs as an intelligent system because tags can be read without line of sight, reducing damage to plants that may be caused by barcodes, etc. needing a direct line of sight. The RFIDs can be read from 10-15 feet away and the scanning itself is faster.

Metrc was awarded the contract by Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) in April, which resulted in a bid protest by the competing company BioTrack. BioTrack’s bid stemmed, in part, from the ability to charge the same fees that Metrc is now saying it needs a judge to clarify.

The bid protest was rejected, resulting in the advancement of Metrc’s status as Missouri’s selected seed to sale tracking.


Track and trace software allows the state to track marijuana at all stages from clone, plant, and harvest through to production, extraction, and sale.

The software allows for consistent monitoring, the ability to effectively track products, and assists businesses and other entities in preventing diversion.

Now part of Metrc’s lawsuit asks for clarification on the ability to sell tags to licensed medical marijuana providers.

Metrc plans show a $40 monthly charge to each facility for the tracking software along with 45 cents for each plant tag and 25 cents for each package tag.

But according to the rejection letter that dismissed the BioTrack protest, Metrc is unable to charge those fees in Missouri based on the bid submitted.

It appears Metrc is hoping that a judge may interpret their accepted bid differently.