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Metrc Basics and Definitions

What do 'Metrc', 'track and trace', and 'seed to sale' mean?

Metrc stands for "Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance" and is a state-required system used to monitor the movement and sale of cannabis. Its main goal is to "track and trace" all cannabis products from "seed to sale" and prevent diversion of product into the unregulated market. It also encourages accountability and responsible business practices by all operators in the commercial cannabis supply chain.

Do I have to use Metrc?    

All annual licensees are required to use Metrc to record and report their inventories and activities. This includes received inventory, inventory reconciliations and discrepancies, sales, returns, etc. Temporary licensees are not required to use Metrc, but once an annual license is granted and paid for the operator has 30 days to become Metrc compliant. Read more on the Metrc adoption timeline on our blog here.

Who can access Metrc?   

Only operators who have been granted a permanent annual license and paid their licensing fees are able to access Metrc. Though there is no limit to the number of users who can access a licensees Metrc system, licensees are required to appoint an Account Manager who will legally represent the business and be required to complete mandatory training on the system

Licensees are responsible for all data entered into the system by their staff, so we recommend giving access sparingly to reduce errors. Learn more about adding employees.

How does Treez upload my sales data to Metrc?

Every time an order is completed, Treez will automatically send transaction details to Metrc through our METRC API integration — eliminating the need for manual entry. If we encounter an error during this process that prevents us from being able to send or receive data, we’ll display the exact action you’ll need to take to remedy the situation in our Metrc Sales Report. Learn more about the sales upload process.

What are 'tags'?

Tags (also known as package tags,) are unique identifiers (UID) that Metrc uses to track cannabis products. Licensees are responsible for assigning a tag to each package in their inventory.

Once an annual license is granted and paid for, the licensee will gain access to Metrc and be able to order tags through the portal. The tags have been factored into the licensing fees, so they will be provided at no cost to the licensee. You will need at least one tag for each product in your store, and will not be able to sell products without a tag assigned to it, so we recommend ordering generously.

What is a 'package'?

Packages are how cannabis products are organized in Metrc, often understood in the context of physical shipments of inventory. Every package must have a Metrc tag physically attached to the box the inventory items are delivered in and have the tag associated with the inventory in Metrc. Packages shouldn't be confused with products, as each product can have multiple packages. (e.g. A box of Valhalla CBD gummies delivered on 1/1/2019 and a box of Valhalla CBD gummies delivered 2/1/2019 would be distinct packages with their own package tags but are the same product.)

What is a 'manifest'?

A manifest contains all the information about the packages in a transfer. As a retailer, you'll typically be accepting manifests from distributors in Metrc. Similar to a packing slip, manifests should include:

    • Names, types, and tags of the products
    • Amount of the products, by weight or count, and total sale or price wholesale cost of the cannabis goods, as applicable
    • Date and time of the transaction, including estimated departure and arrival time
    • Name and license number of licensees involved in the transaction (originating, transporting, and destination)
    • Vehicle and driver information

If the distributor you're receiving packages from is operating under a temporary license and not using Metrc yet, you'll need to create and accept this manifest manually in Metrc.

What is a 'transfer'?

Transfers refer to the movement of packages (cannabis product) from one licensee to another including delivering product to a dispensary, returning products to vendors, transfers to other stores, etc. These can only be performed by a Laboratory licensee for testing, or by a Distributor licensee. (e.g. A transfer delivering a shipment of tinctures to a dispensary for sale must be performed by an operator with a distribution license. A transfer bringing a shipment of edibles to a lab for testing must be performed by an operator with a laboratory license. Neither of these transfers can legally be performed without the appropriate license.) When you receive inventory at a dispensary, the distributor transfers the packages to you. Note: You can never transfer a package that you have made sales from.

What is an 'item'? 

Metrc tracks inventory under parents called 'Items', which are essentially the same concept as Treez 'Products'. Metrc items allow you to enter information about a specific product one time and then use that shell information to intake inventory with consistent product details. You can build Metrc items by following the instructions here.

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Setting up Treez and Metrc 

What's an API key? How do I generate one?

Your API Key allows Treez to automatically communicate specific actions to/from Metrc. Metrc Admins can generate an API Key by logging into Metrc and clicking on the dropdown arrow (next to their username) in the upper right-hand corner of the screen and then selecting API Keys > Generate

NOTE: Once the API Key is generated and shared with Treez, it should never be changed. Updating your API Key without warning will break the Treez and Metrc integration, and will prevent all sales and inventory adjustments made in Treez from being sent to Metrc.


How will Treez help me migrate over onto Metrc?

Once you’ve received your permanent annual license and ordered your tags, we’ll be working closely with you during the first 30-days to prepare your starting inventory for Metrc. To do this, we’ll be following a simple 4-step process:
  • Step 1: We’ll provide you with a CSV export (spreadsheet) of your current existing inventory. This sheet will include product information, expected quantity, and other information.
  • Step 2: With your CSV in hand, you’ll input any missing inventory information that’s required in Metrc but isn’t already captured in Treez (e.g. unit of measure) and consolidate any duplicate products. From here, we’ll validate your newly entered fields for accuracy and correct any that require adjustments.
  • Step 3: After your package tags have physically arrived and you’ve officially accepted them in Metrc, you’ll be conducting a full inventory count and assigning a unique tag to each of your Treez products.  
  • Step 4: Once your inventory CSV is pristine and package labels have been assigned, your starting inventory will be uploaded into your Metrc account — automating the very time-consuming process of creating all of your strains, items, and packages in Metrc.

Will I need to resticker my entire inventory during the Metrc Set-up?

Nope! When we go through the process of preparing your starting inventory, we'll create a unique relationship between a Treez Barcode and Metrc package tag for each inventory item. This means when you scan a barcode at check out, we'll know exactly what Metrc package it's associated with — allowing us to send clean, compliant sales data to Metrc.

Beyond your starting inventory, it’s imperative that every new unit added to your inventory is properly labeled with a Treez retail barcode. Without it, you'll need to manually select which package the item originated from, which will inevitably lead to inventory discrepancies in Metrc. Wouldn’t want to be flagged for an audit!

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Package Tags

How do I order package tags? 

To order package tags, Metrc users with the necessary permissions can log into Metrc and navigate to Admin > Tag Orders > New Tag Order, fill out the required information and click Place Order. 

NOTE: The BCC is granting the ability to order tag on an individual basis, so don’t be surprised if your maximum tag allowance is set to ‘0’ when you first log in. 

How do I ‘receive’ (or 'activate') my package tags? 

Once you physically have your package tags in-hand, they’ll need to be ‘received’ in Metrc. Only after your tags have been received will they be available for use during your Starting Inventory upload and beyond. To activate your tags, log into Metrc and navigate to Admin > Tag Orders and click Receive. To view your activated tags, head to Admin > Tags > Active.

How do I export a list of package tags?

To export a list of Available/Used/Voided package tags, log into Metrc and navigate to Admin > Tags > Available (Used/Voided tabs), then click on the printer icon and select Excel. A list of available package tags is needed for Treez to automate your Starting Inventory upload.

  • Available: These are all unused UIDs that are ready and waiting to be assigned to inventory shipments.
  • Used: These are package tags that have already been used and are either currently in use or inactive (i.e. finished).
  • Voided: Any tags that have been discontinued/voided will appear here. These may or may not have been in use at one point or another. 


How do I request an increase in package tags?

When you initially access your Metrc portal, you will only be allowed to order a limited number of package tags. To request an increase, you need to email the BCC with a full list of the items in your inventory. They’ll review your list and if accepted, they’ll increase your tag ordering limit. Make sure the list of inventory you send to the BCC includes the following information for each item:

  • Item name
  • Product type (e.g. vape cartridge, tincture, edible)
  • Amount and Unit of Measure
  • Quantity
  • Batch ID

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Starting Inventory

What is a starting inventory?

When Metrc first comes online and annual licenses are still being issued throughout the supply chain, Metrc will be an “open” system for a limited time. This means, inventory items won’t be required (or able) to be tracked from seed-to-sale quite yet. Instead, retailers will be responsible for uploading their ‘starting inventory’ which will reflect all of the items they currently have on-hand in their shop.
After the annual licenses have all been awarded, Metrc will shift to a “closed-loop” system, which will require products to originate from the properly licensed entity. For example, retailers will no longer be able to create inventory out of thin air (as is the case with your starting inventory), and instead, inventory coming from a licensed distributor will already have an existing manifest in Metrc and simply need to be “received”.

What items are considered part of my starting inventory?

Your starting inventory is made up of all cannabis products in your dispensary at the time you start using Metrc. Be sure to include any new incoming inventory dropped off up until the time of the switchover. However, you won't include any merchandise products (such as rolling papers or t-shirts) in your starting inventory because Metrc doesn't track non-cannabis products.

How do I distinguish starting inventory from ongoing inventory?

There are special requirements for your starting inventory in Metrc. When you create a new package of inventory in Metrc, you must associate this package with an Item so the system knows what the package is made up of.
All Items assigned to Metrc packages in starting inventory must be identified with a reference to starting inventory in the Item name so the state can differentiate between what was part of this beginning inventory and what was brought in as ongoing additions after the transition. When Treez uploads all your products into Metrc as Items, they'll all follow the naming convention "SI - Valhalla Tangerine Sativa Gummies 10pk 100mg" and be associated with the inventory you have on-hand. The "SI" in front of all your products is what fulfills this requirement.
These Metrc items should only be assigned to the starting inventory packages, and we recommend deactivating these Items in Metrc once you've sold through each one's starting inventory units. (Note: You cannot deactivate an Item in Metrc with active inventory associated with it so you'll need to wait until your starting inventory of an Item is completely sold through.)
Any inventory that comes in after the switch will need to be associated with a separate Metrc Item that doesn't have the starting inventory designation in its name. To save you the time it would take to create these non-starting inventory versions, our upload also creates an item for each of your products that you can use moving forward. These are simply named "Valhalla Tangerine Sativa Gummies 10pk 100mg".

What should I do if I forgot to include a shipment of product onsite that should have been part of my starting inventory but wasn't?

Any inventory in your store's possession at the time of your switch onto Metrc is considered your starting inventory. We'll provide you a sheet to import your inventory, but if you accidentally leave products off, you can still create these manually in Metrc afterward. If this Item doesn't yet exist in your Metrc portal, you'll need to first create the Starting Inventory Item (and for some product categories, Strain) in Metrc, and then create a Starting Inventory package. If the Metrc Item is already created in your Metrc portal, you'll only need to create the Starting Inventory Package. You can follow the instructions below to create all these in Metrc.

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Using Treez with Metrc

Why do I need to use Treez inventory barcodes?

Each Metrc tag is associated with a specific batch of that product. It's assigned to the item at the time of creation (or when the item is added to Metrc for starting inventory) and is carried through the product's lifecycle. Manufacturer barcodes usually remain the same for each item, carrying insufficient information for Metrc.

Treez barcodes are unique and associated with each item's package tag, so when you scan an item with a Treez barcode, the transaction will be recorded on the proper Metrc package. (e.g. You have multiple packages of Kiva Milk Chocolate bars and want to sell one. Scanning the manufacturer barcode on one of the bars will tell you what the item is, but does not include other required Metrc information — most importantly, which package the individual chocolate bar originated from. With a Treez barcode, scanning the chocolate bar will automatically recognize which package the item came from.)

What if a distributor my dispensary does business with is still operating under a temporary license?

Because shipments delivered by non-Metrc distributors will not exist in the Metrc system, you'll need to create and accept the packages through an Incoming External Transfer in Metrc before they can be recognized by Treez. 

I'm selling stock from multiple shipments at once. How do I know I’m selecting the right package at POS?

Assuming each unit is labeled with a Treez retail barcode that gets scanned at the point of sale, you never need to worry about what package you’re selling from. Since we automatically associate each Treez SKU with its originating Metrc package tag, every time a Treez label is scanned, we’ll know exactly which package it came from — no guesswork required.

In the event, you manually added an item to the cart (i.e you didn’t scan the barcode) and you have multiple packages of the same product available in your inventory at once, we’ll display a pop-up in Sell Treez that prompts sales associates to select the correct package the item is associated with. However, this process should be a last resort as manual input errors are more likely with this workflow.

How quickly does Treez upload sales to Metrc? 

California regulations require sales to be uploaded within 24 hours, but Treez pushes sales data to Metrc in real-time. If Metrc experiences an issue (such as an outgate or slowed performance) it may block sales from being uploaded. In these cases, Treez safely stores your sales data within Trace Treez — our own intermediate traceability layer. From here, we’ll automatically retry uploading your sales every couple of minutes until Metrc accepts them, ensuring you're always in compliance. 

How quickly does Treez upload inventory adjustments to Metrc?

Metrc requires you to perform a full inventory reconciliation once every 30 days. When you submit inventory counts they’ve through the Inventory Adjustment page Treez will immediately push the inventory adjustments to Metrc. Do not make any manual inventory adjustments in the Metrc portal, as this will cause a discrepancy between the systems. If you routinely perform cycle counts (highly recommended) and are submitting counts by product category on a daily/weekly basis, this will fulfill the rolling 30-day reconciliation requirement.

The only type of adjustment that doesn’t require action to be taken through the Inventory Adjustment page in order to be sent to Metrc is the destruction of a returned cannabis product. By law, any returned cannabis items must be destroyed (and it's best practice to do this on camera) and cannot be resold. In Treez, any customer returns will automatically populate in the ‘POS Return’ location within Inventory Control and can be destroyed from there. When an item has been destroyed, the action will automatically be sent to Metrc without requiring any additional adjustment in Metrc.9.png

How quickly will Metrc packages become available in Treez?

As soon as you ‘receive’ a licensed transfer or ‘complete’ an incoming external transfer in Metrc, those packages can immediately be imported into Treez.

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Using Metrc - Basics

How should I be naming any new items I create?

Use a consistent naming convention across all your items for easy identification. We recommend Brand, Flavor/Strain, Product Type, Classification (if applicable), THC/CBD ratio, amount. e.g. Flow Kana Strawberry Preroll Indica 1g.

When do I need to create ‘items’?

Whenever you receive a new product that’s never been a part of your inventory, you’ll create a new item to map the packages to.ou can find instructions on creating a new item here. (During your migration, we'll create these for each item in your inventory at the time of the switch onto Metrc.)

When do I need to create 'strains'? 

Some categories of Metrc Items (Flower, Pre-Roll Flower, Pre-Roll Leaf, Kief, Leaf, and all Plants) require you to assign a Strain before you can finish creating the item. You can find instructions on creating a new strain here. (During your migration, we'll create these for each strain in your inventory at the time of the switch onto Metrc.)

Once I create a strain/item can I reuse it again?

Yes, for data consistency you should reuse Metrc strains and items for each new shipment of product. Keep in mind though that any Items with "SI" in the title are for starting inventory only. Any product brought into your store's possession after the switch onto Metrc should be manifested with the Item name without "SI" in the title. 

Do I have to add all my employees into Metrc?

No, you only need to enter employees who will be working with the interface. However, the BCC requires you to keep an up-to-date employee record at all times, so, for the sake of ease, operators can use Metrc’s ‘Employees’ module (Admin > Employees > Add/Edit Employees) to keep that information centralized. If an Employee's role changes, their profile can be edited directly in Metrc by another staff member with the proper permissions.  Note: The Metrc Admin or Account Manager role controls the access each employee has within Metrc. If you're using Metrc as a system of record for this requirement, you can give employees no access, limited access, or lock their account entirely.


Tip: You’ll see this blue + sign peppered throughout Metrc. It allows you to take “bulk actions” by populating another section of whatever you’re looking at below it so you’re able to create multiple employees, strains, items, packages, etc. with fewer clicks. 

By default, Industry Admins (the main account administrators) have all permissions enabled, but other employees of a licensed facility may also be given permissions to edit employee information. 


How do I suspend or remove an employee’s access to Metrc?

There are two ways to suspend the access of an employee from a Metrc portal:

1.) If the employee is on temporary leave and/or you do not want them accessing Metrc for a limited duration of time, you can 'Lock' the employee (Admin > Employees > Select the employee > Lock). This will keep them associated with your license and facility but will prevent them from accessing your Metrc portal. You can unlock the employee once access should be restored from the same screen.


2.) If the employee is no longer working for you, you should use the disable button to terminate their access to your Metrc portal. Once an employee is disabled they will no longer appear in the employee list, but will still be listed in the history list for the facility. If an employee whose account has been disabled is rehired, their information will need to be reentered into Metrc. 

Note: If you have more than 1 facility, you can use the "all" button instead of removing access 1-by-1. In Metrc terms, a 'Facility' refers to each unique license. In California, micro/vertically-integrated businesses are all nested under the same license. So this would only apply if an operator holds separate, unconnected licenses eg. Cultivation & Retail.

How do I edit my Account Manager information? 

If you need to adjust your Account Manager information, you need to send an email request to Metrc. In your email, be sure to include:

  • License Number
  • Current Account Manager’s name, email, and phone number
  • New Account Manager's name, email, and phone number

Note: Your Account Manager must be designated as a business owner on your license.

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Using Metrc - Transfers

To complete a transfer from a temporary licensed distributor, what information needs to be on the manifest?

To be considered compliant, all the information shown on the California External Transfer form is required to be printed on the manifest (Employee ID, drivers license #, phone number, car make/model, license plate, est. departure & arrival time, planned route etc.).

If the manifest is missing information, contact the distributor to email you an updated manifest. Print and sign the updated manifest, save a copy for your records, and give a copy to the Distributor to return to the manufacturer.

We recommend contacting a temporary licensed distributor ahead of receiving the shipment and inform that what information is required on the manifest. This ensures their manifest will be correct for each shipment going forward. Read more about creating Incoming External Transfers.

What price should I enter for a package Metrc? 

In the ‘Wholesale (whsle.) Price’ field, enter the total wholesale cost of all goods in the package. You can usually find this information on the manifest. For example, if you bought 20 Select Hybrid Cartridges at $5 apiece, you’d enter $100 in this field.

If I made an error on an Incoming External Transfer and completed it, what should I do?

You need to email Metrc for assistance, because once a transfer is completed, the Metrc user interface doesn’t allow you to edit it. That’s why it’s essential you double-check before you complete a transfer.
Instead, you’ll need to email Metrc and include the following information:

  • License #
  • Transfer #
  • Originating License #
  • Received Date + Time
  • Package #(s) affected
  • Item name(s) affected
  • Name and employee ID of the person who made the error.
  • Description of the issue

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Using Metrc - Special Circumstances

How do I let Metrc know that I’ve had products stolen? 

To report stolen goods, you should submit your count of the affected package on the Inventory Adjustment page in Treez and use the reason ‘Theft'.  When selecting this adjustment reason, remember that Metrc requires you to submit a police report (via email to Metrc and the BCC) as proof.

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