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WIRE: Washington LCB clarifies traceability issues, hires MJ Freeway as state vendor

From the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board:

The below message was sent by Deputy Director Peter Antolin to licensees who had written to the Board and staff regarding the marijuana traceability Apparent Successful Vendor and RFID tags.

On behalf of the Liquor and Cannabis Board, thank you for writing recently to express your concerns about the change in vendors for the state traceability system and specifically RFID tags.

RFID Not Required

The WSLCB will not require RFID as part of the marijuana traceability project. Our Request for Proposal (RFP) was clear that the marijuana seed-to-sale traceability system must support a variety of tagging methodologies such as bar codes, RFID, etc. The RFP requirements did not allow a vendor to make any assumptions regarding use of a single tagging methodology or allow vendors to include any such costs affecting the state or our licensees in their proposal. In addition, unique plant and inventory identification numbers will be centrally created, maintained, and made available to third-party software systems via the API. Licensees will also be able to print their own labels.

Traceability Advisory Group

As the WSLCB prepared the RFP, we engaged representatives of the major industry trade organizations. We held several meetings together to gather input and clearly communicate our intentions. At the most recent meeting held June 6, we again asked that the representatives of the Traceability Advisory Group communicate with their members about this important point.

Change in Apparent Successful Vendor

As we have indicated, the Apparent Successful Vendor (ASV) was not final until contract negotiations were complete and a contract was signed. Earlier today, the initial ASV, Franwell, withdrew its proposal for Washington State.  An ASV is the procurement term used for the highest scoring, responsive vendor.

We are pleased to notify you that the second place bidder also submitted a strong bid and has accepted our choice to be the new ASV.  MJ Freeway is the new ASV.  We will soon schedule a product demonstration with our Traceability Advisory Group and begin contract negotiations quickly to get this project implemented.

Timeline

This project is on a tight timeline. The new traceability system must be in place Oct. 31, 2017. We are taking the necessary steps now to ensure a smooth transition from the current system to the new one.

Thank you again for writing the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

Brian E. Smith

Communications Director

Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board

360-664-1774

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