Shedding Light on Metrc’s Elusive Looming Deadlines


With multiple permanent cultivation and retail licenses being approved across California, cannabusinesses statewide are gearing up to go live on Metrc and setting their sights on a more compliant future.

Keeping up with the ever-changing licensing regulations for California’s cannabis industry can be tough. And with a business to run, deciphering regulatory timelines is the last thing you have time for — but it’s crucial knowledge to have.

So what can you do?

Breaking Down California’s Metrc Implementation Timeline

For starters, it’s important to identify a few key dates on the horizon so you know when specific requirements need to be met by. Equipping yourself with this knowledge will not only bring you peace of mind, it’ll ensure you’re well-prepared (in advance!) to meet any upcoming deadlines. And since there’s nothing more important to us at Treez, than keeping our partners compliant, we're here to help guide you along the exciting road ahead.

So, let’s break it down. Here's a basic timeline of California’s state track-and-trace system, Metrc, coming on line over the next couple of months and what it means for securing your permanent annual dispensary license.

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You can also view a simplified version of this timeline here!

Understanding the Difference Between License Approvals and Issuing Licenses

Now, we know what you’re thinking, ‘multiple retail and cultivation licenses have already been approved! How does that fit into this timeline?’.

Well, you’re right, permanent license applications have been approved, but they haven’t been issued yet, which is an important distinction to make.

Why? Because, if you remember correctly, the OAL still needs to review, approve, and publish the changes proposed during the initial 15-day public comment period. Until those regulations are solidified (and made available to the public), licensees can’t pay their license fees or log into Metrc to order package labels. Since compliant, Metrc-issued package labels serve as the foundation for being able to track products from seed to sale, operators will essentially be at a standstill until they have those in hand.

...and that doesn’t even begin to consider that it’s still unclear how long dispensaries — or other types of cannabis operators, such as cultivators, manufacturers and/or distributors — will have to pay their licensing fees.

Our guess, is that once your application for a permanent annual license has been approved, you’ll still likely have a window of at least 5-7 days to provide payment before the license is actually issued and Metrc credentials are provided. So really, it’s not even until this point that the clock will truly start ticking.

Getting Compliant After Your License and Metrc Credentials Have Been Issued

Let’s fast forward to when you’ve finally received your permanent license and credentials.

Now what?

As soon as those have been provided, licensees are required to be Metrc-compliant within 30 days. Meaning, time is finally of the essence. At this stage in the process, you’ll be responsible for logging into Metrc, ordering your package labels, and starting to prepare your inventory for upload. When it comes to ordering package labels, we suggest ordering the maximum allowed quantity to ensure you have enough on hand to associate with each unique product in your current inventory and beyond. Lucky for you, the cost associated with your initial order of tags has been factored into the licensing fees, so these tags will be provided at no cost to the you. If you aren’t able or simply don’t want to order the maximum amount, you should order no less than the number of unique SKUs found across your entire stock and live inventory.

We’ll get into the nitty-gritty of creating packages and preparing your inventory a little further down the line — once we’re closer to go time. For now, just know that we’ll be doing a lot of the heavy lifting for our operators by automating as much of this process as possible.

At Treez, our goal has always been to provide our partners with accessibility to time-saving workflows, fully-integrated compliance, and automated solutions that enhance internal processes, not stifle them. And when Metrc comes online, that won’t change. In fact, we’re upping our game and no matter when you receive your permanent license, Treez is ready with our fully Metrc compliant solution… and we can’t wait to show you what we’ve got in store!

Have more questions? Check out our Metrc FAQs, or contact us at

You can also view a simplified version of this timeline here!

Alyssa Schwartz