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Techwire.com: Vendor Selected for Cannabis Track and Trace

By Kayla Nick-Kearney

The state of California has selected a cannabis track-and-trace vendor after almost four months of searching.

Franwell Inc. will provide technology that will mark cannabis, often with RFID tags, and follow it through the growth, processing and purchase-by-consumer process. The state has already contracted with two licensing vendors in an effort to have a working system by the Jan. 1, 2018, deadline. Franwell's selection was announced June 30.

Franwell’s Metrc software will use time stamping, movement manifest documents and lab testing to authenticate cannabis and minimize diversion and loss of the regulated product. It will also integrate with the Accela Civic Platform and Pega Certification and Licensing systems used by the different departments involved in the industry.

"Since cannabis can only be moved from one licensee to another, all licensing systems must share license data with the CAT solution," the bid said. "Thus, the CAT solution must be able to share data with the CDFA Licensing system. The two contractors will need to work together to enable the licensing solution and CAT solution to share data."

The system is meant to protect vendors so no product is stolen, as well as provide a “closed loop” so cannabis does not cross state borders, according to the Metrc website.

California’s Technology Procurement Division handled the track-and-trace vendor procurement on behalf of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The contract will initially be for two years, with an option to extend up to one year at a time or up to five years.

Franwell Inc. was one of five bidders for the contract, up against vendors such as BioTrackTHC and MJ Freeway. Franwell Inc.'s software has been used in Colorado, Oregon and Alaska. It followed BioTrackTHC as the second generation of track-and-trace in Washington.

None of the other bidders made it through the bid process.


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The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 ensures that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use cannabis for medical purposes where medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person’s health would benefit from the use of medical cannabis. Cannabis is a Schedule I drug according to the federal Controlled Substances Act. Cannabis related activity is subject to federal prosecution, regardless of the protections provided by state law.