BioTrackTHC has always been in the business of compliance and tracking. Although they started with a product designed to help reel in the opiate prescribing problem in Florida, known as Bio-Script, Colorado cannabis businesses expressed a need, and the company began to pivot their product to meet the stringent compliance and tracking requirements of cannabis.
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The Cole Memo essentially stated, as long as the states have strong effective controls, the federal government would trust the states to maintain their own cannabis regulations and controls. So the company applied years of experience in the pharmaceutical tracking business, adapted it to cannabis, and BioTrackTHC was born. So, when Patrick Vo came to BioTrack six years ago, the company only had about 12 to 18 cannabis businesses in the Colorado market using their solution.
Today, BioTrackTHC is providing a robust tracking solution for 9 government contracts and over 2200 licensed operators in the cannabis space. CannabisTech recently had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Vo about this extreme growth, what makes their product unique and what’s on the horizon for this leading Seed to Sale solutions provider.
BioTrackTHC – Building the Brand
Being in the business of pharmaceutical tracking, BioTrack has always been in the business of compliance. However, in the infancy of the legal cannabis market, compliance with state regulations was a requirement, but using a Seed to Sale tracking system was not. The businesses that were using them early on were doing so voluntarily – taking the extra step to verify their compliance. Vo stated when he first came on-board,
“You have the best product for this market… that no one has ever heard of.”
So, the work began. BioTrack started to develop the sales team and put more effort into hiring a dependable support team to enhance their product. Vo knew this type of technology would be required for compliance and tracking by government officials, and so they started focusing, not only on what the cannabis businesses need in a tracking application but also what data the states will require.
Then in 2012, the state of Washington asked for competitive bids for this type of a software application, and BioTrackTHC embarked on a journey to provide a solution which met all the needs of the cannabis industry – business and compliance. Vo commented,
“States need information about the business workflows and how the business is run, so the data is more accurate and more robust, and state regulators can stay more informed.”
Thus, after winning the government contract in Washington, BioTrackTHC started on a mission of scaling up their application to handle hundreds of grow and processing facilities and hundreds of dispensaries. All of which function separately but are all part of singular, state-wide supply chain.
Challenges of Diversity
With each state having their own set of regulations, Vo mentioned it’s this diversity which creates the greatest challenges in the implementation of BioTrackTHC. While some regulations and standards may be similar, states have unique approaches to how cannabis businesses are managed. Differing approaches and requirements often mean different consequences throughout implementation.
While each approach may have its advantages, through experience, BioTrackTHC has been able to plan for and even mitigate some of these challenges. As more states come online with legal cannabis, they are evaluating what has been done and what can be improved. BioTrackTHC has experience in dealing with the small nuances which may be presented. This expertise helps to ensure implementation runs as smoothly as possible.
“We have always been in a startup mentality. Even though we are now the undisputed leader, we are still relatively small – our biggest asset is our grit and trying to get things done in difficult situations,” Vo stated.
Given the diversity of the industry and state-to-state regulations, customization is the biggest hurdle in meeting a deployment deadline. However, Vo proudly stated, BioTrackTHC has never missed a government implementation deadline.
Vo said he, and his staff at BioTrackTHC, are using 2018 to focus on getting back to their basics. With the biggest challenges coming from a fragmented industry, Vo is hoping to improve a more cohesive approach and bring commonality across the state lines through integration with other solutions. Working on aggregating and compiling feedback from the last several years, across all states will help Vo and his team at BioTrackTHC make their product better at what it does best.