Every cannabis software company says they “integrate with Metrc.” If you’ve heard it during a sales pitch, it sounds easy. But what does that really mean? Is it even possible to have an easy migration and go live without a hitch? What do the process and support look like? And what are some of the success stories of smooth integrations and the secrets that led it? During this critical time in the industry as track-and-trace systems come online, Treez is cutting through the noise to show you exactly how a successful Metrc integration works in the real world.
SPARC is a renowned five-dispensary operator in California. Over the last month, all five of those stores have successfully gone live on Metrc with the TraceTreez compliance system. Starting inventory, accurate syncs, Metrc reconciliation, and more—all now automated within their SellTreez retail platform.
That’s not by accident. SPARC is a sophisticated operator that put in the work and made hard decisions to set themselves up for Metrc success from Day 1. So how did they do it?
“It all starts with strong inventory practices and policies. Our team has always kept our process organized, which ensures each count goes smooth,” said Robbie Rainin, vice president of retail at SPARC. “My biggest tip is to think about items as packages and not as items anymore. Drill in [to your staff] the difference between packages and products. This way, you change your inventory flow and reduce the number of packages you have for the same product on the floor at the same time—allowing for easier counts. Luckily, Treez helps tremendously with a QR code system that ensures even multiple packages being sold simultaneously won’t mess up inventory.”
That last piece is huge. The Metrc tag is long— like 24 characters long—so it doesn’t fit on a traditional barcode. Most POS providers assign a unique SKU to a shipment of inventory and then link it to the Metrc tag in your POS. The problem then is that every single time you want to investigate inventory, you need to enter it manually in your POS, which is a huge waste of time. On top of that, you can have multiple SKUs to represent a product, which increases complexity.
Treez solves that with QR codes. Using the QR code makes it so that same .5″x.5″ Treez mini label barcode can carry both the Metrc UID and your inventory SKU. By using the QR code you can scan it directly into Treez inventory control and investigate any issues with a flick of the wrist—simple. Additionally, scanning this barcode into SellTreez POS to add items to the cart, will ensure compliant sales are being processed every time. Additionally, not having multiple IDs to represent each package is a huge efficiency boost.
The biggest benefit? You can take that very same Treez QR code and scan it into Metrc to investigate inventory on that side. Imagine the boost you’ll get by instantly revealing problems with a single QR code scan! That’s just one example of how Treez takes strong operator practices and turns them into efficient, seamless compliance and peace of mind.
SPARC also made a key decision to simplify how they would operate in a Metrc world. They decided not to order from any distributors with temporary Metrc licenses. This meant no external transfers required, which is one of the more complicated and time-consuming parts of the current half-Metrc half-not world.
The first migration wasn’t without its hiccups. Even the most advanced operators run into challenges. “I messed up and changed our API Key, so Treez was disconnected from Metrc for under an hour,” admitted Rainin. However, TraceTreez provides a layer of protection from errors on both the dispensary or Metrc side. Despite time spent reconnecting the API Key, SPARC was able to have all transactions easily pushed through within the 24 hour time frames. This means SPARC remained perfectly compliant and kept their dispensary up and running the entire time. No sales lost. No customers waiting. No compliance issues with Metrc. It’s like it never happened.
While they were ready for all five migrations, they didn’t do it alone. “It was truly a white glove approach that made us feel confident in the Treez system while keeping it super smooth,” added Rainin. “Mike and Alyssa [from Treez] showed up before we opened on the morning of our migration to show how to receive packages through Metrc. They personally walked through the new processes with our inventory and leadership team together.”
Even with endless preparation, it’s difficult to explain how everything works before a dispensary goes live on Metrc. Rainin continued, “Once we went live, the Treez team was available to take our questions and it all just made sense. With our starting inventory being created for us and sales uploads occurring in real-time, we simply showed up, went about business as usual, and just like that, our compliance syncs with Metrc were automated.”
After their first successful migration, SPARC was confident enough to do the rest with minimal white-glove treatment. “We knew what we were doing at that point because Treez was fantastic at preparing us for the remaining four migrations,” said Rainin. In fact, the next one went so smoothly, their inventory and compliance teams took off early for sushi lunch to celebrate.
With all five Metrc migrations completed, SPARC can go back to focusing on what they do best—providing a world-class experience for their customers.