SALEM, MA – Alternative Therapies Group, a marijuana dispensary in Salem, has put recreational sales on hold after an inventory issue.

7News Boston reported that the dispensary, which was the first store to open in Eastern Massachusetts in December 2018, had to put sales on hold due to inventory data that had been corrupted.

The dispensary will still be able to sell medical marijuana, but gave no estimated time frame for when they would be open again for recreational sales.

So, what even is an inventory issue? Will other dispensaries suffer this same fate?

When marijuana sales became legal in Massachusetts, what used to be a very shady business became a government-regulated one. In order to appease any concerned citizens, lawmakers put into place very strict guidelines that dispensaries had to follow in order to sell their goods.

This opened the door for "seed-to-sale" platforms: applications that dispensaries hire to take care of all the nitty-gritty organizational issues, thus streamlining the business and allowing them to run smoothly. Seed-to-sale is based off the premise that every "seed" planted must end up as a "sale." From bar codes, to audit trails, to different strain analysis, "seed-to-sale" systems are in charge of making sure the business functions correctly. If you're interested in a more in-depth look at "seed-to-sale" check out this article.

In the case of Alternative Therapies Group, it seems they weren't complying with the state's mandatory "seed-to-sale" system: Metrc. The halt on sales at Alternative Therapies Group is due to "...improper inventory management practices," according to The Cannabis Control Commission (the state-run overseer of cannabis sales in Massachusetts).

So next time you stop into your local dispensary, make sure you tell them to stay on top of their Metrc inventory, otherwise you'll have to take your business elsewhere.

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