Dutchie seeks to open up Pennsylvania traceability market, provide choice to cannabis retailers
Dutchie’s lawsuit against Akerna, Pennsylvania’s traceability system provider, will increase competition and allow cannabis retailers to use the technology platforms of their choice
Harrisburg, PA. – Dutchie – the technology platform powering cannabis commerce – announced today that they filed a lawsuit against Akerna Corporation, a cannabis traceability provider, to ensure a fair playing field for technology platforms that support the cannabis industry in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Dutchie is suing Akerna for unfair competition and tortious interference as a result of its refusal to open up its state traceability system for integration with Pennsylvania cannabis retailers’ technology partners of choice, including point of sale systems, despite a state law requiring open integration with any provider.
“We have heard from numerous customers and retailers from across the state that they had no choice but to use Akerna’s point of sale system despite the better options available,” said Dutchie general counsel John Kelleher. “Retailers should have the freedom to choose the technology partners that best help them succeed and ensure patients have safe and easy access to their medication. We are confident that Dutchie will prevail and that our action will help ensure more choice and competition across the state.”
While Akerna stated in its initial state contracting proposal that it would provide an open traceability system, Akerna has run its system in a way that only allows retailers to integrate with the company’s point of sale system. As a result, Pennsylvania legislators passed a new law in 2021 that requires the state, and Akerna as their agent, to open up the state traceability system for integration with any technology provider to increase competition and choice. Akerna has refused to follow the law for over a year. After numerous formal emails, letters, and meetings with Akerna, Dutchie is taking legal action to ensure the Pennsylvania market has access to true choice.
Akerna was hired by the state to provide software that keeps an accurate record of cannabis sales. But, by preventing technology partners from truly integrating, Akerna’s traceability software reduces the accuracy of those records by forcing retailers to rely on manual entry of their sales and inventory data for all information in a system other than Akerna’s own platform. Pennsylvania is one of only two states that don’t allow for open integration with their traceability system out of the 37 states where medical cannabis can be legally sold. Akerna provides traceability services in both of those states.
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Dutchie is the cannabis technology platform powering cannabis commerce, streamlining dispensary operations, and providing safe and easy access for consumers. Powering over 6,500 dispensaries throughout the U.S. and Canada and facilitating over $15 billion in sales annually, Dutchie is a one-stop shop, providing solutions for point of sale, ecommerce, seamless payments, and more.
Dutchie aims to open minds to the positive societal change that cannabis brings to the world. Dutchie’s solutions directly serve dispensaries and consumers alike, garnering recognition as one of Fast Company’s 10 Most Innovative Companies in North America and LinkedIn’s Top 50 Startups for three years running. To learn more, please visit https://business.dutchie.com/ .
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