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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.
Has the LCB provided full CCRS traceability data yet?
The LCB switched traceability vendors from Leaf to CCRS in December 2021. Since then, the LCB has not yet been able to provide a complete traceability record, such that we can relate sales to a particular LCB store or producer, we have full product information, and there are no gaps in the record. While the LCB has released partial records starting in May, we have identified numerous data issues and have been waiting on their teams to address these. We are confident the LCB does intend to release the full record, but do not yet have a definitive date for when their team will be able to resolve the missing data issues.
Is sales data accurate?
The LCB has continued to provide monthly total sales data for retailers, producers, and processors. However, since the transistion to Leaf starting Nov 1, 2017 these numbers have been less reliable because they often come via self-reported channels and are subject to human error in data entry.
When we have raised these concerns with the LCB, their position has been that the licensees incorrectly reported the figures, and that this is the official record. You can verify that this is the official number for your own license by doing the following:
  1. Visit the WA LCB's public records page
  2. Search for the report titled "Marijuana Sales Activity by License Number – Traceability Contingency Reporting" and click on it.
  3. This will download or open an Excel spreadsheet. Click on the sheet titled "Producers", and search for your license number. Find the row for the month you are concerned about, and note that the value there is the official record from the LCB that will be shared with anyone who asks (investors, banks, data companies, the general public, etc.).
We report the numbers as the LCB provides them. If you see a sales number that appears inaccurate, please follow the steps above to verify, and then notify the LCB and request that they correct the mistake. We will pick up any changes in our next data refresh.
Per-unit weights and counts confuse me - why are some bulk products listed as 1g units, while other products have blank unit weights?
The way the LCB reports traceability data around business to business product sales can be confusing. Often, the unit count is given using a 1g per-unit weight; so for example, if a business sold a single 5lb flower lot, it would be reported as sale of 2268 units (2268 grams = 5lbs). This is the way the data is reported to us, and the package size information is not given.
Some product sales data lacks unit weight altogether. We do our best to extrapolate what the unit weight is, but in some cases there's simply no information and so the weight is left as blank.
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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