Professional Cannabis Cultivation

9) RFID & Tracking

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Lesson Summary:

In this lesson, Cameron discusses the RFID tagging and tracking procedures you need to know about for you professional grow.

Lesson Transcript:
Hey guys, it’s Cameron again. Today we’re going to be talking about RFID and tracking.

So in terms of seed to sale or plant tracking there’s really three software platforms that you’re going to have to deal with and that’s METRC, MJ Freeway, and/or BioTrack.

So I think the easiest way to understand the way that plant tracking works is to kind of follow the plant through the life cycle and I think the most relevant place to start is the mother. The mother has its own individual RFID tracking number. That mother is going to produce some amount of clones and all of those clones are going to point back to that mother, and that number that points back to that mother will stick with those clones through their entire life cycle and this is in essence what the seed to sale tracking is all about. So if something was to cause an issue with a patient or a customer once it leaves a retail dispensary, we can track that all the way back to the mother from where those plants came from, and we can either quarantine a batch or act accordingly based on this ability to track plants all the way back through their life cycle.

So in terms of the production, once we’ve got this tray of clones, they came from a mother, that number has now been associated with let’s say this tray of fifty clones here. As those clones root they are going to get plugged into their next media, either into a pot or into rockwool, and that number is going to be associated with them. Each one of those individual fifty plants is going to have that mother’s number, so the mother, let’s say mother “XYZ” we are going to have this tray of fifty and it’s going to be XYZ 1, XYZ 2, XYZ 3, and as these plants move out and every time they are up-planted that number is going to travel with them. As the plant moves generally from veg one to veg two, or at around 14-20 days of life, the plant is going to be big enough to actually be individually tagged, so whereas when the clone is first up-planted there is a tag associated with a plant, by around day 20 the plant is going to be big enough to support being tagged itself. These tags are meant to be indelible, that is to say once the plant has the tag affixed to it, the tag can not be removed without causing irreparable harm to the plant, you would basically have to make the tag invalid. You would have to cut the tag off the plant or rip the tag off the plant which would destroy the plant. This is the whole point of this tagging system, is these plants are not able to be removed from the facility. These tags are not able to be removed from the plant without causing severe damage.

As the plants travel through the production cycle, they are allocated or allotted to different zones. Generally, I have two or three veg stages of life, and then generally four or five or maybe more flower rooms. On the veg side of life plants are listed as either veg one or veg two or veg three, as they leave the veg cycle and go to a specific flower room, let’s say flower room one, there’s a certain number of tables in that room, and within your tracking software you’re going to be assigning these plants to specific tables. So once a plant is assigned to a table you can’t just go an pick up that plant move it to another table if it seems to make sense from a sort of architecture of the room standpoint. It can be done, but you need to make sure to go into your tracking software and say hey plant XYZ number one has moved from table one over to table two. And this is super imperative from a compliance standpoint, you can not just go moving plants around the room.

The process for moving out of the vegetative state of life and over to the flowering room is probably at minimum a four person job, and it’s probably going to require at least three rolling carts. This is what the process looks like: someone is loading up the cart and taking it to someone who is sitting at a computer and checking the RFID tag per the plant. There’s another person that is taking the plants from the person at the computer and moving them into the flower room, and then there’s another person in the flower room that is unloading the carts. At minimum we’re talking about four people, and you could be talking about even more depending on the size and scale of your facility.

In terms of tracking plants through the production cycle and especially once a plant is cut down, whatever software platform you’re using and whatever enforcement agency is using that software, they are going to be looking for outliers in terms of weights, when a plant is wet, when a plant is dry, etc. So the thing to remember is, let’s say you have a plant that weighs let’s say 500 grams when it’s wet. You cut that plant down, you take a whole plant wet weight. That plant is then broken into smaller pieces, generally hung on hangers or put onto a drying rack. That tag is still associated with that plant all through the drying process. The wet weight is recorded, the dry weight is recorded, and generally you’re looking at about 80% loss of weight. So that 500 gram wet weight plant is going to be in the ballpark of around 100 grams when it’s dry. Certainly the enforcement agencies are going to be looking for something that falls into that rough average, and anything that is an outlier is potentially a red flag for you and your facility.

So thanks you guys for learning about the RFID and plant tracking with me. Certainly please feel free to refer to the course notes for anything pertaining to this course, and definitely stay tuned for the next video.

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Course Notes

Recommended Reading:

Advanced Point-of-Sale Systems
Mobile Surveillance and Security on Cannabis Transport
Securing Cannabis Business Physically and Digitally

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