Does Colorado Need a New Way to Track Marijuana Plants?

Tameka Kee

As if Metrc implementation (and compliance) isn't enough -- a research firm's plan to develop an "isotope" that could be added to a marijuana or hemp plant for tracking purposes has some Colorado cannabis entrepreneurs scratching their heads.

The Institute of Cannabis Research at Colorado State University-Pueblo is working on a “seed-to-sale” tracking system that would use a chemical or compound additive to monitor where a marijuana plant was grown, and where it ends up.

But Colorado already uses Metrc for seed-to-sale tracking, and the State Legislature has twice vetoed bills that would have required the use of this new, chemical-based system.

That’s why cannapreneurs like Terrapin Care Station’s Peter Marcus are questioning why the Institute is moving forward with what is essentially unwanted, state-funded, R&D:

“Colorado already has a robust seed-to-sale system for tracking cannabis,” Marcus told the Colorado Sentinel. “There is no need to risk consumer health and safety by spraying cannabis with an unknown substance for a tracking technology that won’t ever gain traction.”

The Institute of Cannabis Research has raised upwards of $3 million in public and private funding since its inception in 2016, including roughly $2.6 million from the State and $260,000 from Pueblo County.