Metrc wasn’t named in the original lawsuit. The company successfully argued in a June 1 hearing that it should be allowed into the lawsuit as a party because the temporary restraining order interfered with its state contract. The next hearing is scheduled for June 29 in Okmulgee County.
LeeAnn Wiebe, CEO of Apothecary Extracts in Beggs, said her businesses were all ready to go on the Metrc system by April. Apothecary Extracts has a grow operation, manufacturing facility and a dispensary.
She said Metrc’s costs, for the license and the RFID tags, are less than 1% of the expenses for her Oklahoma businesses. She spends much more to test cannabis, with an estimated $2 million in testing costs this year compared to $20,000 in Metrc tags.
“Anytime you have a new system, it can be overwhelming or cumbersome and it’s a bit fearful because you don’t know it,” said Wiebe, who had a Colorado cannabis business that used Metrc. “But shortly after it was implemented, everyone could see the value in transparency and everyone using the same system.”
Wiebe said some of the reluctance to use the Metrc system might be because it’s easy to manipulate the current system.
“Based on working with hundreds of growers at this point, and our challenge in getting license verification, test results or batch information, 9 of 10 places we can’t work with because they can’t provide us that information,” she said. “I think most people who don’t want Metrc don’t want it because it eliminates those loopholes or that ability to easily get unregulated product into the market.”