Medical marijuana seed-to-sale tracking system already worrying advocates -- but should it?

Categories: Marijuana

Thumbnail image for marijuana photo cropped.JPG
In August, the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division awarded a $1.5 million contract to Franwell Inc. to institute a seed-to-sale marijuana tracking method for Colorado MMJ enterprises using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. And while the system isn't expected to be in place until early 2012, at least one advocate is raising alarm about expense and the possible creation of new crimes. Should operators be worried?

According to a Franwell release about the Colorado contract, "RFID tracking of marijuana will capture information on the approved 6 plants allowed per patient, each stage of plant growth, distribution and final sale. Whether a patient requires smokeable product or marijuana infused products (MIP) such as ice cream or salsa, RFID will track that patient's product and allowance in accordance with state regulations."

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The Franwell logo.
Language like this prompts objections from the Cannabis Therapy Institute's Laura Kriho on a number of fronts. "RFID technology is going to be another expense for the dispensaries," she says. "And these tags could be $3 apiece. They send out a signal saying what's what, but the tags are going to have to be constantly reprogrammed, and it's going to be a huge administrative expense -- and it could be another crime. If you're caught with cannabis from a dispensary that doesn't correspond to the RFID chip in your medicine bottle, that's another way for people to go to jail."

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Laura Kriho.
How does MMED spokeswoman Julie Postlethwait respond to these assertions? Corresponding via e-mail, she explains that "early on we determined that use of Radio Frequency Identification tags is the most effective and cost efficient way to track this product. Franwell was the successful bidder in a highly competitive process and we look forward to working with them to build a system that meets our regulatory needs and is easy to use for the industry."

Regarding Kriho's concern about $3 tags, Postlethwait offers reassurances, if not specifics. "We are only in the early planning stages of the system," she writes, "but costs to the industry will be limited as much as possible."

She also dismisses the idea that a dispensary might be criminally charged for accidentally hanging the wrong tag on the wrong plant, or some other similarly benign error. "Industry members will not face criminal charges for making a mistake," she stresses. "However, if investigation brought evidence to light that illegal activity had taken place, the MMED will pursue criminal and administrative sanctions."

If statements like this last one bother Jake Browne, marketing director for Colorado Dispensary Services, he doesn't show it -- and he sees Kriho's criticism as premature.



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23 comments
Pash023
Pash023

I think we should take every seed in existence and plant them across Americorporation and then let them tag my ass. Your government is now trying to control your right to grow your own food, yup that is right, MONSANTO already owns you, why not let the state continue to dig their (completly uneducated) hands into your pockets. I mean really, these same people who can't even process paperwork on time, or cash money orders on time are going to be in charge of your health. WAKE UP! Or dont'... if you pretend like everything is okay it will be right? Isn't that what we do in Americorporation is pretend?

Pilatestoday
Pilatestoday

 RFID's dangerous to health.  Any  walkie talkie instructions will tell you about the dangers of long term exposure to High Frequency Radio Waves. I willl not expose my employees.  RFIDs are made of many chemicals, and plastic.  These items emit a smell when new. I can not be exposed to high chemical smells.  Any petroleum product used, like plastic, contains a false estrogen called a Xeno hormone.  These hormones can affect the plant when placed inside or on the plant because they are a false estrogen.  Our plants are female.  Sorry, my warehouse will not be exposed to chemicals and High Frequency Radio Waves.  I do not know what the effects are on my plants.  We do it all by hand and we are very efficient.  We use less energy by not using this equipmet and our information is never lost on some bad computer, though we are highly tech savey.  I vote no for dangerous RFID system.  Show me the science  behind the safety of this product.

97m6formula
97m6formula

Until the pharmaceuticals can get a piece of the action there will never be any federal legislation to legalize or medicinal cannabis period.

Steve Freeman
Steve Freeman

Really? I think the FEDs would like nothing better than to saddle your industry (Indiana is still in the dark ages and would rather let it's citizens suffer) with very high costs, the higher the better; all the while winking and saying they won't "unduly hassle" you.  WRONG!! They want you to spend lots of money on compliance; then yank out the bankers that handle your money, then make your spy on yourself 24/7, then yank your entire business out from under you citing FEDERAL LAW.  The FEDS have been operating with impunity as far as I can tell; and certainly enjoying their 51% of the vote when it comes to medical marijuana.  You would be idiots to believe the FED is going to go soft in any manner whatsoever when their goal is to force you to fail.Wake up!!If you want to help those who need medicine, put 100 seeds in every hand in every transaction because this is definitely going to go to a grow-your-own and hope you don't get busted scenario.The FED is out to get all elements of the medical marijuana trade, from seed to SMOKER.  Don't fool yourself now and pay the price later. 

Clive81
Clive81

That is a reprensible use of government resources.

FuckingKiddingme
FuckingKiddingme

what about the fact that RFID technology is iffy at best and frequently has an error margin in the range of 1-3% on doorway scanning. that means you have to scan each tag individually, which means it is a barcode, but a VERY expensive fucking barcode.

someone once told me the best way to make a killing in government contracting is to create a problem that doesn't exist, lobby for your product as a solution to this non-existent problem and then secure exclusive rights to fix the non-existent problem.

Jake Browne
Jake Browne

"If you're caught with cannabis from a dispensary that doesn't correspond to the RFID chip in your medicine bottle, that's another way for people to go to jail."I hope readers understand that patients will not be taking medicine home with RFID tags on them. These tags are meant to track how plants move through the production process to the centers, not from centers to your house. 

That being said, I appreciate Laura Kriho and CTI's continued vigilance on behalf of Colorado patients, even if we have differing opinions. It's important to have grassroots participation at every level as the industry evolves. 

Colorado Mmj Patient
Colorado Mmj Patient

RFID tracking is ridiculous.  With the video cameras taping every transaction and now this, more and more patients are dropping from the database.  This reminds me of a classic Star Wars quote,

"The more you tighten your grip, (MMED), the more (patients) will slip through your fingers."

I still can't believe that the MMCs are rolling over and letting them do this.  The DEA doesn't care about RFID or what you do to look "legitimate".  If we get a new President in 2012, you can kiss the MMCs goodbye, and all it will take is a letter sent to the owners.  They already have all their information.  

Vincent Von Dudler
Vincent Von Dudler

Only if you believe that the growth of marijuana should be restricted.  Growing marijuana is every responsible adults civil liberty in a free society.While marijuana is a valuable medicine that a doctor could prescribe the reason it should be available is because the government shouldn't be legislating morality or lifestyle.  It should get the      out of marijuana altogether.  Of course if the citizens of Colorado want to curtail their own freedoms then I guess that's their right...but why?

If you care to take action:http://pvox.co/CdiFqYhttp://wh.gov/gDQ

Cris Ericson
Cris Ericson

Marc Emery admitted to selling marijuana seeds to 70,000 Americans.  Fodder for the private-for-profit prison industry. 48 HRS. LEFT TO CLICK & SIGN   WHITE HOUSE PETITION TOEND MARIJUANA PROHIBITION

 http://wh.gov/gP1

Case sensitive link, upper case capitol P.

http://wh.gov/gP1

"Demand an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to EndMarijuana, Marihuana, Cannabis and Hemp Prohibition."

http://wh.gov/gP1

This petition has a deadline, Oct. 23, but it isnot clear if that means midnight Oct. 22,so Please hurry!

This petition is an UMBRELLA petition that coversall of the issues of the other marijuana, hempand cannabis petitions.

http://wh.gov/gP1

President Obama allows Adults and children age 13and up to sign this petition!

http://wh.gov/gP1

MMIG is PIGS
MMIG is PIGS

Steve - The real world reality is quite different then you suggest.

Please say the scare mongering tactics for Halloween.

What needs to happen is the bad apples in the industry, mainly/soley MMIG need to get taken out of the picture.

If you know of any MMIG members please post their names here, and everywhere. Once they are outed we can get rid of them.

Jenni of the garden
Jenni of the garden

If you have any newer car that has a smart key,  that is RFID too.  Its accurate, simple and depending on your source for tags cost effective to provide trust to your patients, and the govt.  If both parties feel they are being served you will make a ton more money.  Learn to play the game instead of fighting the court size.

Colorado Mmj Patient
Colorado Mmj Patient

You better believe Franwell did some heavy "lobbying" to get this contract.  I bet it is one of Romer or Massey's good buddies.  Just look at Matt Cook.  He was in this for only a year and now whores himself out as a consultant.  He even had the balls to say he was stepping down due to the"economics" of the position.  

Matt in Boulder
Matt in Boulder

Your second paragraph pretty well sums up the whole reason cannabis prohibition still exists.  It is not coincidence that law enforcement (including prison workers) is deeply entrenched to stop every effort to re-legalize cannabis.  Anslinger may have done the initial dirty work for them, but they are keeping the the "party" rolling...

Monkey
Monkey

Browne thinks its comprehensiveness will help convince the Drug Enforcement Agency not to unduly hassle Colorado MMJ businesses in ways that are happening in other MMJ states. "Colorado's system is something the country is looking at, especially after seeing the problems in California".You crack me up Browne. Would you find it reasonable for the City of Boulder to regulate and license businesses that manufacture and sell LSD for medical use? Do you think Colorado would be looking at Boulder as a good example of LSD sales instead of the black market? Colorado would laugh at Boulder like the Feds are laughing at Colorado. This regulatory scheme has done nothing to influence the DEA or Federal policy, the only thing it's changed is the way the Feds track their suspects. 

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Thanks for the comment, Jake, and for sharing your thoughts in the post above. Much appreciated.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Interesting post, Jenni. Thanks for sharing your point of view.

Jake Browne
Jake Browne

Monkey,

Sure, LSD and cannabis are both schedule 1 drugs. I think that's where the comparison ends. If medical LSD gets written into our state constitution, lets revisit this.

If the DEA charges the Cherry Top Farms staff, you would have a more compelling argument. Simply seizing what they had to under federal law gives less weight to that narrative. 

Monkey
Monkey

Im sorry you missed the point. I don't know how to be clearer. Commercial marijuana is not in the constitution, just silly laws relate to CDS and only for the last couple years. Remember, all this was to protect you because you're not in the constitution. Boulder making silly rules that conflict with Colorado is equivalent to Colorado making silly rules that conflict with the Feds. In my opinion LSD has medical benefits but my opinion and any rules I make up to sell it commercially wont convince the Feds, Colorado or Boulder just like 1284 and 1043 is not convincing anyone. The Feds are laughing at us like I laugh at you, delusions are nice but ultimately an escape from reality.

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