SEATTLE - The state's legal marijuana industry is gasping for help, following the rollout of new tracking software that many growers say doesn’t work.
A spokesperson for the state Liquor and Cannabis Board said they got one major malfunction straightened out with Leaf Data Systems and some commerce has resumed. The problems have yet to show up at retail stores where customers would notice, but growers say without a quick fix the impacts will be industry-wide.
“Leaf is having internal glitches, because it's a new system, that are causing things to miss, to not migrate over, so you're getting holes in the data and it's just stifling business," said Dax Colwell, a licensed marijuana grower with Dama in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood.
Colwell is beyond frustrated. He hasn't been able to make a cannabis shipment since Thursday, when the Leaf Data Systems tracking software went live.
By law, cannabis transactions must be tracked from seed to sale. Colwell said defects in the new system has left him with inventory backlogs. He can't get his product in for required testing, and he can't sell it to retail stores.
“It's putting businesses at risk and workers at risk and people are (potentially) getting laid off,” Colwell said. “We've had discussions, we're trying to work through it, but it's a possibility."
The state Liquor and Cannabis Board said about 80 percent of the complaints coming in deal with five main issues - all of which can be resolved fairly quickly. They are working on patches for other defects. The rest of the problems will just involve people understanding how to operate the new program.
However, a software designer who is certified to work with the state's new tracking program believes the flaws will likely take weeks to clean up.
“I still feel like we’ve got another four days of ti being really, really rough,” said David Busby, owner of the third-party software integrator company WeedTraQR. “I've been telling all of our customers to prepare from February 1 for ten weeks of being uncomfortable. Ten days of very uncomfortable, ten weeks of pretty uncomfortable as all of the other issues get refined."
Some of the glitches do have work-arounds, but growers said it's been a struggle to get through on the help-lines to find out how to take advantage of those.