Connecticut has announced plans to use a software company that will monitor cannabis sales, growth and manufacturing as the state launches its recreational marijuana program.
The state announced Monday it plans to use software developed by Consultants Consortium, Inc., and its partner, Forian, to operate the tracking system.
The Cannabis Analytic Tracking System aims to give “real-time inventory of cannabis products available in the state and to prevent unlawful diversion of products,” according to a state Department of Consumer Protection news release.
The Consultants Consortium will also provide project management services, oversight and support of the system.
It will cost $562,501 to implement the system in the first fiscal year, which ends June 30. Maintenance and operation will cost $165,000 annually. The Consultants Consortium, an Indiana-based firm, already has a state contract for cloud computing, said Kaitlyn Krasselt, a spokesperson for the Department of Consumer Protection.
The announcement comes as Connecticut plans to launch its cannabis program after the state legislature legalized recreational use of the substance in June.
The number of licenses, as well as the amount of production and sales is likely to have an impact on the price consumers pay for cannabis as well as the government’s tax revenue.
The tracking program will monitor both sales through the medical and recreational-use programs. Information through the Biotrack software will be gathered from the time a seed is planted to the point of sale to the consumer, according to the release.
According to a report from the state’s Office of Fiscal analysis, the taxes from recreational marijuana will result in a total revenue gain to the state and municipalities of $4.1 million in fiscal year 2022. The number is expected to grow considerably as time goes on, to $26.3 million in 2023, and $44.6 million in 2024. By 2026, annual revenue is expected to hit $73.4 million.
“Being able to track the state’s cannabis inventory from seed to sale will allow the department to monitor cannabis production and inventory as it moves from the earliest phases of growth to when it reaches the qualifying patient or consumer,” Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull said in a statement. “This information will allow us to see what is currently available in both markets, project future inventory, and identify any potential diversion in the markets.”
In past Medical Marijuana Program Board of Physicians‘ meetings, members have expressed concerns about a lack of data collected thus far on the medical program. The board advises the Department of Consumer Protections on certain decisions about the medical program including qualifying conditions to add to the state’s list.
All cannabis licensees will be mandated to enter information into the system.
Business license applications aren’t open yet, although the department has put measures in place to preserve the medical program when recreational sales begin. Businesses that sell medical marijuana will be required to keep that program in place, for example
Connecticut has about 54,000 registered medical marijuana patients, according to online data.
Information collected in the new tracking system will typically be used by the Department of Consumer Protection and the Department of Revenue Services. Law enforcement may also use the data as needed.
The department plans to begin sales in the state by the end of 2022. Decisions that still need to be made include detailed guidelines for social equity applicants and how many licenses will be doled out.