WSLCB Important Message: Transitioning from Leaf to More Simple Reporting System

To:       Cannabis Licensees and Stakeholders

Fr:        Jim Morgan, LCB CFO and CCRS Project Executive Sponsor

Re:      Transitioning from Leaf to More Simple Reporting System

I am writing to update you on an important change to how Washington traces cannabis. The Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) is simplifying the state’s traceability system to reflect the growth and maturation of the cannabis industry as well as preparing for the future. By year’s end, the LCB and industry will transition off the current Leaf Data Systems platform to a revamped, simplified, data-reporting platform developed and maintained in-house.

Cannabis Central Reporting System

For the last year, Leaf has been on a service-only contract that will terminate no later than June 30, 2022. After careful deliberation of a variety of program models, LCB intends to simplify the reporting program by focusing on key lifecycle milestones for reporting and ensuring that the market can be managed independent of the state’s systems. The reporting solution is officially named “Cannabis Central Reporting System” (CCRS).

Beginning in 2019, LCB staff worked closely and collaboratively with stakeholders that included producers, processors, retailers, integrators, labs and others to identify the future state of traceability. Many of you will remember that work was part of the Board’s Cannabis 2.0 initiative.

Simplified and More Flexible

To ensure preparation for any potential system disruption and ultimately transitioning from the Leaf system, LCB will deploy a simplified, reporting solution that incorporates ideas and concepts from the Cannabis 2.0 stakeholder workgroup. Key benefits of system include:

  • Simpler. Reduces complexity of reporting which reduces margin for error
  • More flexible. Licensees perceive the framework to be more flexible for operational efficiencies; and
  • Potential of lower costs for compliance. Licensees may see a reduction in business and compliance costs.

Stakeholders are Aware

This spring, LCB staff presented the process and CCRS concepts to select stakeholder groups. In general, stakeholders were appreciative of the collaborative approach and the simplified requirements of the CCRS system. The LCB is committed to communicating with licensees, labs and integrators throughout the process. Users will have opportunity along the way to ask questions and provide input. Licensees and commercial integrators are also needed to help with system testing set to begin in late September.

Next Steps on Communication

A number of communications are in place or coming soon to help prepare for the transition.

  • CCRS website. Launched today, the LCB launched a section of our website  dedicated to CCRS information. This site will grow as we release new information and resources
  • Webinar. A webinar is scheduled for Sept. 8, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to noon. During the online session, LCB will provide technical details for the new CCRS system, detailed information to prepare you for the launch of CCRS, and contact information for technical support. The session will be recorded and posted to the CCRS website. Webinar access details will follow via separate GovDelivery message. Due to the size of the expected audience, staff will not be opening up for live Q and A.
  • Q and A. Please send questions to CCRS@lcb.wa.gov by Sept. 7, 2021 so that we may address questions during the webinar. We will also use submitted questions for a Q and A we will post to the CCRS website.
  • User Guide. In advance of the Sept. 8, 2021 webinar, a detailed User Guide will be posted to the CCRS website and shared with licensees. The User Guide will include instructions about the solution, technical assistance resources and contact information.
  • Technical Details for Commercial Integrators. Via separate messaging, the LCB will be supplying the technical details third-party integrators need to support licensees that use a commercial system to report. Licensees who do not use a commercial software system will have a simple upload process using CSV files.