WSLCB Changes Reporting Requirements In Response To Leaf Traceability System Disruptions

WASHINGTON: The Liquor and Cannabis Board this week took action to address challenges faced by cannabis licensees following the most recent software changes to the Leaf Traceability System.

It is the Board’s intent to provide some reporting flexibility to facilitate licensees’ ability to comply with state laws and regulations in light of the challenges created by the changes to the system.

In Board Interim Policy (13-2019), signed July 23, 2019 and effective immediately, the Board eased certain traceability reporting requirements for licensees.

The Board is committed to working with licensees, labs, and integrators to ensure their business operations can be maintained without compromising public health and safety. As such, effective immediately, the LCB will allow licensees, labs, and integrators flexibility to develop workarounds to problems directly associated with the lab test data and manifest information that remain unresolved by recent fixes to the System. These workarounds may vary from the lab test and manifest standards delineated in WAC 314-55-102 and WAC 314-55-085 to the extent necessary and so long as the workarounds continue to meet the following four conditions.

  1. Report Workarounds. Any workaround adopted by licensee or integrator must be reported to the LCB prior to use. A dedicated email address is provided for that requirement.
  2. Maintain Traceability. All labs, licensees, and integrators must maintain records ensuring all product is traced from producers to retail sales.
  3. Maintain Test Accuracy. Any traceability workaround must not compromise or misrepresent true test results of products involved in Quality Assurance (QA) testing.
  4. Maintain Product Safety. All products must maintain accurate packaging, labeling and all pesticide requirements.

For a complete list of Board Interim Policies, please visit the Liquor and Cannabis Board website at lcb.wa.gov.

Dauntless Announces Acquisition Of Soro Software

Acquisition brings CRM and business intelligence functionality to GIANT platform

WASHINGTON: Dauntless, Inc. has acquired Soro Software, Inc., announcing an agreement to combine forces and move forward together. 

“We’re super excited about working with Dauntless!”, said Soro CEO Jerry Tindall. He says, “Our companies just clicked so well together; it was a no-brainer”. Dauntless CEO, Clark Musser, said “We’ve both got best-in-breed software offerings for the cannabis industry. Joining teams cements our place as both a pioneer and leader in both the emerging US and Global cannabis industry”. The combined company will operate under the Dauntless name.

Dauntless is best known for their Point-of-Sale solution Korona and seed-to-sale product TraceWeed. Both products will soon be rebranded. Soro offers the leading cannabis-specific CRM & Sales Enablement platform for Growers, Processors, and Distributors. “Combined, we offer true end-to-end solutions for the cannabis industry. No one else can handle the needs of growers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers like we can. Whether your business is just a few people or an enterprise, we’ve got you covered,” says Tindall.

The combined companies intend to integrate their offerings into a global cannabis-industry platform called GIANT. Dauntless COO Brady Miller says “There are over 87,000 cannabis related businesses in the world today. We’re able to connect them all together to allow both information and physical products to flow freely between businesses. We’re leading the charge on making cannabis one of the best-connected industries on earth”. The products offered previously by each company will continued to be sold both individually or as part of the larger suite.

Alternative Health Inks Multi-State Lab Deal

TEXAS: Alternate Health Corp., an international leader in software solutions for the medical cannabis industry, announced today that the Company signed a binding contract on August 6, 2018, to provide laboratory services for a large multi-state laboratory provider. 
 
Alternate Health expects to begin testing samples in August and is targeting a ramp up to a monthly sample rate of 25,000 – 30,000 by December 2018. August is forecasted to begin with approximately 5,000 to 6,000 samples monthly with an increase of 5,000 to 6,000 additional samples per month. The assumptions on sample volumes, both to start in August and the December projections, were made after carefully reviewing the current needs and future growth projected by the referring entity.
 
Regional fees per sample run between US$50.00 to US$250.00, with averages falling into the US$130 to US$150 range. Costs and expenses associated with performing the tests certainly vary with volume, with Alternate Health’s historical numbers falling between US$35.00 to US$70.00 per sample.
 
“This is a major step forward for the Company and Alternate Health Labs,” says Dr. Michael Murphy, Chairman and CEO of Alternate Health. “This deal represents the culmination of all the hard work and dedication we have put into our laboratory strategy.”
 
In late 2017 through 2018, the Company completed a program of upgrades at Alternate Health Lab’s San Antonio facility. As a result, Alternate Health Labs now has the capacity to run blood, toxicology, allergy, pharmacogenetics, respiratory pathogen panels and women’s health panels. 
 
“With this agreement, Alternate Health will benefit from the investments we have made in our laboratory business,” says Dr. Murphy. “We are excited to build a stable financial foundation to move forward with our mission to be the technology leader in the international cannabis industry.”
 

Done Deal: Helix TCS And BioTrackTHC

COLORADO: Helix TCS, in conjunction with its strategic capital partner, Rose Capital, completed the closing of its merger with BioTrackTHC on June 1st.  Zachary L. Venegas will continue as the CEO of Helix TCS, and will assume the role of Executive Chairman for the combined company.  Patrick Vo will continue as CEO of BioTrack.

“The closing of this merger is a landmark event for Helix and BioTrack from a strategic and operational perspective. As a combined company, we are unique in the industry in serving virtually every segment of the market – whether it is compliance software through BioTrack, the wholesale marketplace through Cannabase, security, transport, or cash services through Helix, or the advisory that we can provide customers due to our data infrastructure.  We continue to support our clients in whatever challenges they face in becoming safer, stronger, and more profitable, whether they operate in the U.S. or internationally.  At the same time, investors will see margin improvement as reporting and administrative costs are spread across a much larger revenue base and costs are rationalized.

“As a combined company with $12MM in 2017 revenue, we will continue to generate greater value for clients and shareholders. Helix’s unrelenting focus on strategy and disciplined execution will allow Biotrack to further harness the spirit that made it a market pioneer, with significant market share in government, dispensary, and grow segments of the seed to sale market, and translate that spirit into renewed technological innovation and leadership.

“This transaction represents the next step in our evolution as a market leader.  It is also another milestone achieved by using our team’s deep experience in strategy, entrepreneurship, M&A, and frontier markets to build a world-class company,” stated Mr. Venegas.

Cannabis CRM Platform Baker Secures $8 Million In Series A Funding

COLORADO:  Baker, a leading software platform for marijuana dispensaries and brands, announced that it has secured $8 million in Series A funding, bringing its total amount of capital raised to $11.75 million.

The round was led by Poseidon Asset Management, a VC firm that specializes in cannabis.  The raise will fuel the company’s rapid growth. Baker recently acquired Seattle-based Grassworks, the industry’s second largest CRM platform, and is increasing its Washington presence with a new office. The company plans to open additional offices in Los Angeles in 2018 to support its expected growth in California.

“We’ve built the industry’s leading CRM product, and now we’re truly focused on providing a platform to allow Baker and our partners to offer best-of-breed solutions to our massive retail network. Our products help dispensaries make more money, which is why we’ve experienced such tremendous growth this year,” said Joel Milton, CEO of Baker. “This funding will allow us to continue to execute on our platform strategy, and help all of our clients grow their businesses — including those in California gearing up for adult use.”

The Denver-based software company has a data-driven approach designed so dispensaries can keep their customers happy and loyal, while increasring revenue. With its recent acquisition, Baker’s software is being used by more than 700 dispensaries in 16 states. This year alone, the company grew its staff from 18 to more than 50 full time employees, making Baker one of the largest tech companies in the industry.

New Frontier Data And MassRoots Join Forces

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: New Frontier Data, a leading provider of data, analytics and business intelligence in the cannabis industry, and MassRoots have announced a partnership designed to “elevate digital marketing practices and better understand social consumer behavior at a pivotal time in the cannabis industry.”

“It is an exciting time in the cannabis industry whereby large financial, research, and consumer-focused enterprises are now looking to understand risks and opportunities stemming from this booming industry. MassRoots is the largest social media platform dedicated to cannabis in the world, with incredible engagement from its members, creating a unique opportunity to learn from them and educate brands, investors, and mature markets entering the cannabis arena,” said Giadha Aguirre De Carcer, CEO and founder New Frontier Data.

“This past year at MassRoots we have been focused on taking our amazing cannabis community to the next level with a new leadership team and its vision to take the company beyond the social media platform and this partnership with New Frontier Data should allow us to achieve that. This industry has evolved from a movement into a thriving market that is hungry for data to serve its shareholders and consumers. Only through the data analytics provided by New Frontier Data and our understanding of our community can we believe we can move this emerging market and pioneering platform forward,” said Scott Kveton CEO at MassRoots.

New Frontier Data’s data engine will enable MassRoots to aggregate, analyze and monetize the large volume of consumer engagement data being collected by the MassRoots mobile application and web portal. By combining MassRoots consumer data with New Frontier Data’s Big Data Engine and market leading industry analytics, we will then be able to generate greater insights into the 3 million users in the MassRoots eco-system and establish correlations between their interests and interactions across multiple channels. This collaboration is expected to will create broader applications allowing for far more sophisticated and targeted digital advertising, as well as more advanced consumer engagement.

MassRoots To Acquire CannaRegs

COLORADO: MassRoots has announced the acquisition of CannaRegs, a leading technology platform that tracks changes in cannabis regulations and taxation at the municipal, state, and federal levels.

MassRoots, Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire CannaRegs in a stock deal valued at approximately $12 million. The closing of the acquisition is subject to closing conditions as fully detailed in MassRoots’ Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on August 23, 2017.

Founded by former Federal Reserve regulator Amanda Ostrowitz in 2014, CannaRegs will be critical in helping the California adult-use market stay compliant. As one of the premier technology companies in the cannabis industry, CannaRegs is recognized for leading the movement with majority female leadership at its helm.

“We hope that this acquisition will expand MassRoots’ compliance offerings, consolidating the most important operations for cannabis businesses into one central platform,” said MassRoots CEO Isaac Dietrich. “We expect with MassRoots’ resources and relationships, we can grow the number of businesses utilizing CannaRegs and significantly increase MassRoots’ contractually-obligated monthly recurring revenue.”

MassRoots is a cannabis social network that allows users to research cannabis strains and product information, locate dispensaries and products, and read the latest in cannabis news. The CannaRegs software-as-a-service (SaaS) enables dispensary owners, law firms, investors, consultants, and municipalities to track cannabis regulations, both implemented and proposed, in real-time, ensuring they stay compliant with state and local law.

This acquisition, when closed, is expected to cement MassRoots’s consolidation of the business-to-business software market, along with recent acquisitions of Odava, a leading point-of-sale platform for cannabis-related business, and Whaxy, an online menu-management and consumer loyalty platform. When completed, the CannaRegs acquisition will enable businesses to easily update their operational procedures and report to regulators through the MassRoots platform.

CannaRegs Logo

“The cannabis industry is increasingly becoming compliance-centric and even minor changes in municipal regulations can have a significant impact on  day-to-day operations. CannaRegs has made it easy for businesses, regulators and attorneys to track regulatory changes in real-time, often for less than the cost of one billable hour,” said CannaRegs Founder and CEO Amanda Ostrowitz, who is also a licensed attorney. “By becoming part of MassRoots’ expanding portfolio of technology offerings, we will be able to realize strong synergies in the development and distribution of our platform. We look forward to aggressively growing our market share in California and other key markets.”

In California alone, there are 539 local jurisdictions with different regulations, tax rates, and zoning laws related to the cannabis industry. With the upcoming adult-use market set to open in 2018, local jurisdictions are currently writing new regulations and cannabis entrepreneurs are doing their best to stay up-to-date.

For more detailed information, please see MassRoots’ Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on August 23, 2017.

 

Franwell and METRC Withdrawal Proposal; MJ Freeway Is Washington’s New Marijuana Traceability Software

Attention Licensees: The below message was sent yesterday by Deputy Director Peter Antolin to licensees who had written to the Board and staff regarding the marijuana traceability Apparent Successful Vendor and RFID tags.

WASHINGTON: The WSLCB will not require RFID as part of the marijuana traceability project. It’s Request for Proposal (RFP) was clear that the marijuana seed-to-sale traceability system must support a variety of tagging methodologies such as bar codes, RFID, etc. The RFP requirements did not allow a vendor to make any assumptions regarding use of a single tagging methodology or allow vendors to include any such costs affecting the state or our licensees in their proposal. In addition, unique plant and inventory identification numbers will be centrally created, maintained, and made available to third-party software systems via the API. Licensees will also be able to print their own labels, according to an WSLCB press release.

Traceability Advisory Group

As the WSLCB prepared the RFP, it engaged representatives of the major industry trade organizations., and held several meetings together to gather input and clearly communicate its intentions. At the most recent meeting held June 6, the LCB again asked that the representatives of the Traceability Advisory Group communicate with their members about this important point.

Change in Apparent Successful Vendor

The Apparent Successful Vendor (ASV) was not final until contract negotiations were complete and a contract was signed. Earlier today, the initial ASV, Franwell, withdrew its proposal for Washington State.  An ASV is the procurement term used for the highest scoring, responsive vendor.  The WSLCB today announced that second place bidder MJ Freeway is the new ASV.  WSLCB will soon schedule a product demonstration with our Traceability Advisory Group and begin contract negotiations quickly to get this project implemented.

Timeline

This project is on a tight timeline. The new traceability system must be in place Oct. 31, 2017.

Delaware Executes Cannabis Tracking Contract With BioTrackTHC

DELAWARE: The State of Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), the government agency responsible for regulating the medical use of cannabis in Delaware, has executed the state’s cannabis seed-to-sale tracking and patient registry contract with BioTrackTHC.

Delaware’s stated goals for the Medical Marijuana Program include, “protect the people of Delaware by minimizing the risk of theft and diversion of marijuana to unregistered individuals,” and, “regulate the production and sale of medical grade marijuana to registered individuals.”  In pursuit of those goals, DHSS in 2016, issued a Request for Proposals for the Delaware Enterprise Consolidated Cannabis Control System, their designation for an integrated statewide seed-to-sale cannabis tracking and patient registry system.

“Our sincerest thanks to DHSS for choosing Team BioTrack,” said Patrick Vo, CEO of BioTrackTHC.  “DHSS has been wonderful to work with throughout the contracting process, and we look forward to partnering with them to provide the tools and data they need to continue overseeing the industry and protecting their patients.”

The implementation of an integrated seed-to-sale tracking and patient registry system will enable the state to keep close tabs on the activity of the Medical Marijuana Program.  Designated state officials will be able to view compassion center data—including plants counts and usable inventory, lab results, transportation, and point-of-sale data—to perform periodic audits and ensure compliance.  Additionally, the patient registry portion of the system will improve patient accessibility to the Program by automating the patient application process and decreasing application processing times.

BioTrackTHC currently has live seed-to-sale government traceability systems in WashingtonNew MexicoIllinoisHawaiiNew York; and the city of Arcata, California.