The state’s pot policy office initially describes a costly tagging system for tracing products from plant to retail, then offers a more business-friendly explanation hours later.
The state marijuana industry didn’t like what it saw when it got its first look at Maine’s new track-and-trace system Monday: hundreds and hundreds of 25-cent tags required to catalog every plant’s path to pre-rolled joint, vape cartridge or infused candy.
“This will drive prices through the roof,” said medical marijuana caregiver Dawson Julia of Unity. “It’s going to put a lot of people out of business. It will make medicine so expensive that nobody will be able to afford it. It will guarantee the survival of the black market.”
Five hours later, long after most of the 300 shell-shocked growers, manufacturers and retailers had left the track-and-trace kick-off event, the Office of Marijuana Policy issued a clarification. Individual retail products will not require their own track-and-trace tag after all.
The cost of the tag wasn’t the problem. After all, each individual bar-coded label only costs a quarter. It was the sheer number of tags that would have been required to move a plant through its entire life cycle, especially for processed items, like vape cartridges or marijuana-infused baked goods.
Consider that it would have required 1,178 tags, at a total cost of $295, to convert a 10-pound cannabis plant into half-milliliter vape cartridges, based on typical yields. [Read More @ Portland Press Herald]