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The Importance of Categorization in Cannabis


Within any state track-and-trace system, there are “Product Categories” where licensees can organize their cannabis inventory. For example, “Pre-roll Flower” is defined as “pre-rolled joints made with full cannabis flower with a unit of measure (each) AND strain attached AND weight within the unit (grams). METRC, one of the most common track-and-trace systems in the United States, implements product categories by state, allowing each market to determine which types they will use.

METRC users must ensure products are grouped correctly. A product grouped incorrectly skews state statistics and complicates a licensee’s inventory. Both have relatively significant consequences. An example of a miscategorization is putting a package of pre-rolls under the Shake/Trim category. Even though a pre-roll might contain shake and trim, it must still be classified correctly to ensure the proper testing is completed and accurate inventory counts at both the licensed facility and in statewide reported numbers. If the appropriate testing is not performed, an unsafe product could end up on the shelves.

A good example is in Michigan. The Cannabis Regulatory Agency recently released a bulletin that clearly defines and differentiates products in the “inhalable compound concentrate” category. The bulletin contains the products’ definitions and the required testing rules to ensure consumers’ safety.

The key takeaway is to check the Package Details report on the NCS Platform for products in the wrong category. Suppose you find a product in the wrong category. In that case, the licensee should log into their track-and-trace system (or inventory system) directly and correct it to maintain good inventory records.

About the Author Michael Jara

Michael is a member of NCS as a Data Analyst. He spends his time using his R, Python, and SQL skills to assist our analytics team. Outside of work, Michael has finished a master’s degree in Data Science from the University of Denver after earning a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics at the University of Colorado Boulder. He spends his free time playing video games, watching sports, and attending concerts

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