Washington state gives Franwell initial OK for seed-to-sale contract

Washington state has tentatively picked Franwell to replace the state’s marijuana seed-to-sale tracking system, paving the way for both parties to hammer out a final contract covering one of the nation’s largest MJ markets.

The contract has been given an initial value of about $3 million. Franwell would replace the provider of the state’s current seed-to-sale system, BioTrackTHC.

BioTrackTHC first won Washington state’s contract in 2013. But the company did not bid for the new contract, saying it was uncomfortable with some specifics of the state’s proposal.

According to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, Florida-based Franwell was one of seven companies to bid on the contract.

The state must find a replacement for BioTrackTHC’s system by Oct. 31. The company’s software platform has come under criticism from commercial cannabis growers who complained it was costing them time and money. BioTrackTHC has defended its system.

Franwell’s traceability software, Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Compliance (Metrc), is the current system in other states with recreational and medical cannabis, including Colorado, Oregon and Alaska.

According to a release from Washington’s liquor and cannabis board, the three finalists for the project gave day-long presentations and software demonstrations last week. The board also sought input from marijuana industry officials.

The seed-to-sale system allows regulators to monitor cannabis companies’ supply chain – everything from cultivation and transportation to dispensary inventories and sales.