Colorado Corrects Inaccuracies Over RFID Misinformation

The state still requires inventory tracking tags.

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The Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) today issued a press release correcting inaccuracies about RFID requirements in the marijuana rules effective January 8, 2024 that have been reported in several recently published media stories.

While newly adopted rules removed the reference to "RFID" and replaced it with a general reference to "inventory tracking system" language, these changes do not eliminate requirements for licensees to use inventory tracking tags in January 2024.

According to MED, the rule change is in anticipation of the next solicitation process for a statewide inventory tracking system. Specifically, it allows for broader consideration beyond RFID-based technology that has been historically required. MED's existing vendor contract doesn't expire until 2026, which means any changes to RFID-tag requirements will only occur after the MED concludes the procurement process for the state's inventory tracking system.

The solicitation process has been initiated and will continue throughout 2024.

"Through this update, the division is deliberately enhancing the competitive nature of its solicitation, where our options will no longer be limited to vendors that couple their inventory tracking systems with RFID technology," said Dominique Mendiola, Senior Director of the MED, in a statement. "Inventory tracking with RFID-tags has been a requirement since the inception of Colorado's adult-use program and we want to ensure regulations evolve where opportunities exist. With one of the most mature adult-use cannabis markets in the nation, this is a critical opportunity to reflect on what we have learned and how our regulatory needs could still be met by the variety of inventory tracking solutions available today. We look forward to engaging licensees throughout this process."

The rules effective in January are a result of a significant rulemaking effort by MED, which began at the conclusion of the 2023 legislative session. In addition to implementing legislation, rule updates include additional efficiencies for licensees to assist with streamlining operations.

Adopted rules were informed by stakeholder contributions via meeting participation and oral and written comment submissions. MED held eight stakeholder work group meetings and received approximately 304 written comment submissions between the annual permanent rulemaking and fee rulemaking this year. 

The materials from this year's rulemaking session and the rules effective in January, are available on MED's rulemaking webpage.

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