In order to address ongoing issues with Leaf Data Systems (LDS) — Washington state’s traceability database, built by MJ Freeway — the Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB) is in negotiations with Gartner Consulting to do an independent evaluation of the LDS’ implementation. Already holding a contract with the LCB, the firm will be asked to evaluate the software development process, determine the source of issues that licensees in the field have been experiencing, and develop recommendations and an action plan to mitigate identified deficiencies and the problems’ root causes.
The cost of the assessment is unknown at this time but will come out of the LCB’s budget, according to a spokesperson for the agency.
The ongoing issues with Washington‘s traceability system began last year when the LCB announced that the contract with longtime vendor BioTrackTHC would not be renewed. After the first choice, Franwell, dropped out of the ensuing contract bid, the LCB turned to MJ Freeway to build and roll out the new database.
When Franwell dropped out, the LDS launch date was extended to January 1, 2018. During this time, the LCB offered a contingency plan to help businesses track their inventory. The deadline was later extended to February 1. Upon going live, however, evidence emerged that the system had been hacked, which delayed some cannabis deliveries.
By March 31, all cannabis businesses were required to have their data uploaded into Leaf Data Systems, but problems persist, prompting the LCB to seek an outside consulting firm.