California says its system for tracking cannabis products from seed-to-sale will soon cover the entire industry — but regulators still have more work to do.
In May, less than 10 percent of licensed cannabis businesses were enrolled in the system known as track-and-trace. Speaking at a press conference Monday, Nick Maduros with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration said the state has since made significant progress.
“As of about a week ago, well over half the market is in track-and-trace,” he said. “By the end of next month, we should have just about everybody into track-and-trace.”
The system allows the state to monitor products through the supply chain. It’s a valuable regulatory tool, especially as a mysterious lung illness tied to vaping sweeps across the country. There have been dozens of cases in California, including two deaths.
Sacramento lobbying firm K Street Consulting reviews licensing and compliance trends in California and confirms that more than 4,500 of the state’s 6,700 licensed cannabis businesses are enrolled in track-and-trace.
But, that doesn’t mean they’re fully integrated in the system. Enrollment means workers receive training, but additional steps are required before all products from a business are tracked.
Consultant Jackie McGowan says until everyone in the industry is fully integrated, unscrupulous businesses can fabricate test results and certificates of authenticity.
“We’ve seen a lot of those being fakes, and without a rigorous seed-to-sale tracking system, it’s been easy to get away with,” she said.
She adds that the state should also consider updating its testing requirements for additives linked to the recent vaping illnesses.
Newsom also announced Monday a campaign to curb teen vaping and called for legislation to ban flavored e-cigarettes.