It takes a number of steps for medical cannabis to get to a patient — and whether it’s a grower, processor or dispenser, each of the different parts of the process from “seed to sale” are tracked by the state to ensure everyone is growing safely and in compliance with the limited number of licenses that are offered.
In Maryland, this is facilitated by a system made by METRC, which offers a cloud-based system where all of the parties have to update on a 24-hour basis.
“Whatever I do today needs to be in the system by tomorrow at the latest,” said Outlaw Technology founder David Eagleson Sr.
This includes RFID — that’s radio-frequency identification — tags that are attached to every plant for tracking from one room or one step of the process to another. Yet within this system, growers and processors are still using manual data entry. Sometimes folks will yell out the weight and write it down. And manual typing often comes into play.
Accordingly, Eagleson, who is CEO and brings 20+ experience selling RFID hardware to Walmart, Johnson & Johnson and Boeing, along with the five-member team at the Severna Park-based Outlaw Technology, identified room for additional technology that would facilitate the tracking process.
The company’s product, called OG Harvest System, integrates with an existing scale that is used to measure plants. It includes an RFID scanner that can scan the tag, and a USB link to the scale that captures the weight. With a touchscreen display, a web-based console captures data before it is provided to the METRC system. The company is a certified partner of METRC, indicating it is working as part of the tracking ecosystem.
Along with saving time, the technology is also designed to bring increased accuracy. To Eagleson, the introduction of technology is a sign of growing maturity in an industry that can work to standardize processes.
Earlier this year, Eagleson said the company worked with the region’s Green Leaf Medical, which served as a beta customer to test the product for over a year. It is also working with Maryland grower ForwardGro. When it comes to collaborating in Baltimore’s tech community, the company works with fellow supply chain tracking enthusiasts at Baltimore’s Barcoding, Inc.
With the product in use, Eagleson is issuing a challenge to folks like growers or compliance officers who may be interested to put it up against any other system they’re using. For those who accept the challenge, the company will send a system to put it to the test.
“I’m confident that what we built is more effective and more accurate than anything else,” he said. “If you can do it more effectively, more efficiently, then I’ll donate $1,000 to your favorite charity.”