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Metrc Pilots Sustainable Seed-to-Sale Tracking Tag

The company developed the tag for the overall environmental well-being of the planet.

A photo of Metrc's sustainable tag prototype.
A photo of Metrc's sustainable tag prototype.

Lakeland, FL – Metrc, a provider of cannabis regulatory technology systems, yesterday launched sustainable radio frequency identification (RFID) plant tags. Developed to reduce waste, the company believes the tags will produce better all-around environmental performance. 

Metrc is initiating a pilot test program for select state agencies and licensees to provide feedback on the tag's design, durability and readability.

In July, Metrc CEO Michael Johnson joined the Cannabis Equipment News podcast and discussed his plans to advance the company's RFID technology into a more sustainable package. 

The company has been developing its sustainable tag solution to showcase its dedication to cannabis industry stakeholders, the communities they serve and the overall environmental well-being of the planet.

The sustainable RFID tags are designed to improve compliance auditing and reporting, carrying embedded security advantages over other systems and arriving regulation-compliant and ready for use. Licensees do not need special printing equipment to create tags and labels, reducing errors and waste while saving time.

The nine-week pilot test program will permit licensees to evaluate the new tags' design, effectiveness and usability, including tag perforation and ease of tag separation, durability and readability. Participants will receive pilot test instructions and plant tags and straps shipped directly to their facility, free of charge, along with dedicated support to track feedback throughout the testing process, including completion of the program.

Developed by Metrc, the sustainable tags contain 30 percent post-consumer waste (PCW), providing a steady source of demand for recycled paper products, 10 percent hemp and 60 percent responsibly sourced Forest Stewardship Council certified virgin paper fiber.

The inclusion of hemp fiber to the PCW improves tag durability, and by using recycled materials instead of new resources, Metrc is reducing energy consumption, carbon emissions, waste in landfills and water usage.

In addition to reducing plastic use and waste, adding hemp and PCW saves 302,000 pounds of wood, equivalent to 910 trees per year, based on industry calculations of the production of 226,000 pounds of material.

The base material of the sustainable tags is made with 100 percent renewable Green E-certified wind-powered electricity (RECs) under a third-party certified ISO 14001 Environmental Management System and is manufactured carbon neutral (VERs), offering additional environmental benefits to the materials and process.

The redesigned tags also use one-third less material than current tags. Using an innovative method to safely house and protect the tamper-proof inlay, Metrc's engineers developed a production system that requires just two layers of material rather than three. The tags will have, on average, a shelf-life of nine months and can perform in the field for the duration of the plant’s standard growth-to-harvest cycle.

Based on initial testing, when scanning using RFID handheld technology, the new sustainable tag read range is 17 percent more effective when compared to the current tags.

Following the pilot program, Metrc expects to officially launch its sustainable RFID tag solution in 2023, with a complete transition planned for 2024.

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