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Please email us at support@topshelfdata.com with any questions, suggestions, or issues. We love to hear your feedback.


Frequenty Asked Questions

Where do you get your data?
All Washington State marijuana producers, processors, and retailers are required to track every step of production from "seed to sale" (chapter 314-55 WAC). These businesses must regularly upload data feeds about plants, harvests, processing, transfers between businesses, and retail sales to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB).
Washington State makes this data available as a matter of public record. We regularly ingest the raw tracking data, analyze it, and match it with additional external data (such as maps or strain information).
In November 2017, the LCB changed the software provider for their traceability system from BioTrack to Leaf. This impacted availability, the reliability of data, and the types of data made available to the public.
In December 2021, the LCB again changed the software provider for their traceability system - this time, from Leaf to CCRS. For six months, the LCB was unable to provide a complete record; and even after this, there were a certain number of errors and unreliable data points.
Has the LCB provided full CCRS traceability data yet?
Yes - after a long wait following the switch-over in December 2021, the LCB was able to make available a complete data set in July 2022. We had several rounds of back-and-forth with the LCB IT team, and are still working with them to resolve certain issues; but overall, the data set is able to paint a story of WA state traceability from January 2022 onwards.
Is sales data accurate?
From January 2022 onwards, the LCB has ceased to regularly provide topline monthly total sales data for retailers, producers, and processors. We now compute total revenue directly from the reported line-item transactions. However, these numbers are often reliable because they often come via self-reported channels and are subject to human error in data entry, and contain a handful of outliers (for example, a few sales are reported as billions of dollars, which is of course a data cleanliness issue). We do our best to remove obviously incorrect data points, but that does mean that we may be under-counting certain values because we cannot know what an ommitted data point was supposed to be; and in other cases, it's possible bad data points still slip in.
Aside from automatically disregarding data points that are wildly outside of reasonable ranges, our approach is to report the numbers as the LCB provides them. If you see a sales number that appears inaccurate, please notify the LCB and request that they correct the mistake. We will pick up any changes in our next data refresh.
Why should I pay for data that is publicly available?
While we strive to keep charts and reports and easy-to-read and clean, the simplicity can be a bit misleading; under the hood there is a lot of data analytics and processing. Our paid plans give you access to deeper analysis and reporting, which saves you the (massive) effort of converting the raw public record information into a usable report by yourself.
Should I be concerned that my business data is in the public record?
We understand that there may be misgivings about the information the state makes available. Our stance is that if everyone else has access to this data, you should too. We do not share contact information, any personally identifying data, or addresses for producers/processors. There are other data companies out there that expose the public LCB tracability system data, and other cannabis business that take advantage of that information to gain a competitive edge. What differentiates Top Shelf Data is the depth of analysis, reporting, and ease of use we provide to you.
Where do violations come from? Can you remove ones we think are in error?
We show violations exactly as reported by the "Violatons Dataset" made public by the Liquor and Cannabis Board. As the LCB notes, "this information may not be the final disposition of the violation" because these are often investigations in-progress. If you disagree with a reported violation, please contact your LCB examiner; we will automatically pick up any changes they make when we do our next refresh.
Why do you charge sales tax? If I live elsewhere, do I need to pay?
Top Shelf Data is a Seattle, Washington business that is regarded as providing an online digital good. Because it is digital, we are required to include a 10.100000000000001% sales tax which is determined by our location (not the buyer location).
Who are you?
We are a duo of experienced software entrepreneurs with a combined 20+ years of experience. Our passions are helping businesses thrive and technology. We've started and sold two successful companies; and we have worked at businesses of all sizes, ranging from 10-person startups to 500-person pre-IPO businesses to corporate behemoths.
This is our first foray into the cannabis space. We're eager to learn from folks in the business; we've loved attending the trade shows and conferences, and regularly talk with local retailers and producer-processors to get their feedback and ideas for making this the best possible resource.

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