News Ticker

WIRE: SICPA unveils medical cannabis control pilot program in Humboldt County, Calif.

SPRINGFIELD, VA — SICPA, a global leader in security solutions, regularly partners with local governments to provide secure track and trace solutions.

This enables comprehensive government oversight of tobacco, alcohol, pharmaceuticals and now medical cannabis in order to promote public health, address public safety concerns, safeguard proof of origin and, where applicable, ensure appropriate tax revenue collection.

SICPA is partnering with the County of Humboldt, California, on a medical cannabis control solution pilot using its proven track and trace solution, SICPATRACE®, which combines counterfeit-resistant stamps, traceability and enforcement tools, and data management services to create a platform that ensures easy regulatory compliance.

This solution documents a forensic trail across the medical cannabis supply chain, from cultivator to dispensary, enabling government officials and law enforcement to accurately track products, identify and reduce the spread of illegal cannabis, and bring criminals to justice.

Launched on August 1, the Humboldt pilot will help ensure that all medical cannabis in the county complies with government regulations including California’s Medical Cannabis Regulations and Safety Act (MCRSA).

Humboldt County Agricultural Commissioner Jeff Dolf explained, “A local track and trace program is critical to demonstrate that the county’s medical cannabis regulatory program incorporates enforcement principles important to local and federal law enforcement including preventing distribution of cannabis to minors, preventing the diversion of cannabis to other states, preventing cannabis revenue from supporting criminal enterprises and preventing the growing of cannabis on public lands.”

With the requirement to comply with MCRSA by January 1, 2018 looming for the entire California medical cannabis industry, this pilot gives Humboldt County a head start. “When we scale up to a licensing and certification program in 2017, specifically offering the artisanal branding that we’re tasked to do by the medical marijuana land use ordinance, we’ll have learned how to do this through the pilot and then can apply it to scale to the county-wide industry,” explained Mr. Dolf.

SICPA kept the concept of scalability in mind when designing the solution. SICPA Director of Product Management Julien Zanchi explained, “The solution is flexible enough to meet the needs of a mature market like California at the state, county and local municipality level. In fact, SICPATRACE® has been used since 2005 by the California Board of Equalization to effectively track and trace approximately 900 million packs of cigarettes annually, representing more than $835 million in annual excise tax collections.”

How it works

The SICPA Medical Marijuana Control Solution, as implemented in the Humboldt County pilot, integrates with industry seamlessly. Mr. Zanchi explained, “California is unique in that it has a very mature cannabis industry. While our solution can be implemented in emerging markets as well, we wanted to ensure that our solution is easy for all members of the complex and robust California supply chain to leverage as an on-ramp for operating legal businesses in compliance with MCRSA and any future regulations. ”

Cultivators document their product catalog (e.g., strain, growing techniques, THC content) and apply traceable, counterfeit-resistant stamps to product packaging. Each stamp includes a secure QR code and unique number that is encoded with details from the product catalog, package size, and transfer details. As the package moves through the supply chain—from cultivator to manufacturer to distributor to dispensary—the stamps are coded with more information and create a map of a product’s journey through the system.

The stamps will also connect patients to product catalog information through a smartphone app and website. Patients can use these tools to make sure a product is authentic, retrieve product details, see test results, and more.

Program Benefits

SICPA’s medical cannabis control solution provides many benefits to program participants. For government officials and law enforcement, the solution offers:

  • Visibility across the entire supply chain
  • Ability to authenticate products and ensure they are produced legally

For growers, manufacturers, distributors, and dispensaries, the solution offers:

  • Simple and efficient on-ramp to compliance
  • Supply chain visibility
  • An app and website that connects them with patients

Patients can count on the solution to:

  • Authenticate medical cannabis products
  • Ensure they are getting the right products for them

More information on the Humboldt County pilot can be found at:

More information on SICPATRACE® can be found at:


SICPA, a global leader in authentication, identification and secure traceability solutions and services, was founded in Switzerland in 1927 and partners with governments, financial institutions, businesses and industries worldwide on matters related to security.

Over the last century, SICPA has built its reputation as an innovator, thanks to the pioneering development of new products and technologies. SICPA annually invests a significant portion of its revenues in research and development and with more than 4,200 patents, is now a leading provider of global solutions and services for the identification, authentication and traceability. For several years SICPA has successfully implemented in many countries, the program SICPATRACE®, which is based on a platform, developed exclusively for Governments, which optimizes the collection of excise duties.

With over 76 billion products secured every year, SICPA is today the world leader in secure traceability solutions for products subject to excise duties and is recognized supplier and consultant estimated to governments and central banks, security printers and industries.


Martha Horn

Marketing Communications Specialist

Direct 703 440 7768

Mobile 703 640 4300

SICPA North America
8000 Research Way, Springfield, VA 22153 USA
Tel 703 455 8050 Fax 703 455 4518

Leave a comment