For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Contact: David Heidrich, (207) 624-7800
Director of Communications, Department of Administrative and Financial Services

State of Maine Inks Agreement with Marijuana Track and Trace Provider 

State, industry stakeholders will utilize Metrc, Franwell Inc.’s turnkey solution for end-to-end tracking and tracing of marijuana products.

AUGUSTA – Today, the Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS) announced the award of a three-year contract for marijuana track and trace services to Franwell, Inc. As a part of the agreement, DAFS will deploy Metrc, a cloud-based software product which uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to track the growth and distribution of marijuana and marijuana products, throughout Maine.

The service, which is in use in 12 other states, will be utilized by both the existing Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Program and Maine’s future adult-use recreational program.

“The selection of Metrc as the state’s seed-to-sale tracking software is an important next step for the legal cannabis industry,” said Erik Gundersen, DAFS’ point person for implementing legalized marijuana. “Not only is it an important accomplishment that satisfies critical components of both the medical and recreational programs and aligns the State with a provider with a proven record of success, but it also serves as a sign to industry stakeholders that the Mills Administration is serious about completing this important work.”

With the award of the contact, Metrc will now serve as the seed-to-sale tracking provider for 13 states including regulatory trailblazers such as Colorado, Oregon, and Alaska. In addition, Metrc is already in use in New England, serving as the track and trace software for the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.

“Metrc is an industry leader, and our partnership with Franwell will allow the state to proceed with implementing Maine’s voter-approved legalized marijuana law,” continued Gundersen. “In addition, having a vendor selected for this service ensures that the software can be customized and implemented as rulemaking takes place over the next several months.”

The State of Maine’s agreement with Franwell comes by way of a competitive procurement conducted by the State of Alaska. Given the timeline available, the complexity of the service needed, and the requirement that industry stakeholders utilize the system, DAFS opted to piggyback off of an existing procurement, allowing the State of Maine to proceed immediately and without the risk of undue delay.

The resulting agreement with Franwell is a three-year contract valued at $150,000. The contract calls for an additional one-time setup cost of $9,000 and provides an option for up to $21,762 annually to cover the cost of configuration and customization changes needed as a result of rule or law changes. License holders participating in Maine’s marijuana programs will be responsible for a $40 monthly fee as well as plant tag and packaging label fees of $0.45 each and $0.25 each, respectively.

On April 11, 2019, DAFS will host an introductory program in Augusta which will provide medical marijuana caregivers, dispensaries, and their employees with a high-level introduction to the Metrc software. This event will be followed by regional road shows that will provide in-depth training to industry stakeholders throughout Maine.

In November 2016, Maine voters approved the recreational use, retail sale and taxation of marijuana. In January 2017, the Maine Legislature placed a moratorium on certain parts of the law regarding retail sales and taxation, until February 2018, while a 17-member legislative committee worked to overhaul the Marijuana Legalization Act. The legislative language developed by that committee established a rough regulatory framework for adult-use, which became effective in May 2018.

The Department is currently reviewing proposals submitted by entities interested in serving as the State of Maine marijuana rulemaking consultant. Once a RFP award is made, contract negotiated, and a consultant hired, the Department will be able to begin the rulemaking process required by the Marijuana Legalization Act.