Colorado Readies System for Monitoring Recreational Marijuana
For a long time, marijuana was considered a hard drug. Many individuals across the globe associated marijuana with drug addiction and unacceptable social behaviors, most people believed that the consumption of marijuana is harmful to a person’s health. This is because those who used this drug became involved in illegal activities that led to crime. For example, most of the marijuana users exhibited criminal behavior, such as stilling and violence in order to get money for purchasing more of the drug for their use. Some people also displayed withdrawal syndromes and became socially unfit. Other individuals showed aggressive behaviors while others started hallucinating. Some people became mentally ill after using the drug for longer periods. This made cannabis (as it is scientifically known) to be declared a dangerous drug in most parts of the world. Any person found in possession of marijuana was liable for punishment and could be jailed for longer periods. Ever since, many people have served long jail terms and some are still behind bars for possessing or using marijuana.
Until recently, most states around America regarded the drug with the same hostility, but thanks to research and new inventions, as currently people use marijuana as a recreational or medical drug. States, such as Colorado and California are among twelve other states that have legalized the use of this drug for recreation and medical uses. Many hospitals use cannabis as a medicinal drug during surgery and other activities. The state has also been wary of the legalization of the drug for these purposes and has taken stringent measure to ensure that the plant is subjected to appropriate use for which it was intended. The government has authorized selected individuals to grow, process, and distribute cannabis under many conditions. For example, the growers must have Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags for each plant from the time of planting to the time it is taken to the factory. The tags help in keeping information about the origin and the whereabouts of each bird after planting, harvesting, manufacturing, and distribution. Such information is safely stored in Marijuana Inventory Tracking Solutions (MITS) for each state.
This paper is a discussion of various issues concerning the use of marijuana as a medical and a recreational drug in the state of Colorado. It is accomplished by responding to various questions touching on different parts of the marijuana manufacture and distribution process as stated in the case study.
Explain why Colorado State’s Marijuana Inventory Tracking Solutions (MITS) would be considered an information system
It is in order to regard Colorado’s marijuana tracking inventory-tracking solution (MITS) as a data system since it provides vital information about the plant from the time of planting to harvesting. The MITS is used by the state agencies for following the pot (plant) from the greenhouses where it is grown up to the warehouse where the drug is processed, packaged, and sold. MITS is a type software that was developed by a company named Franwall in Colorado. Just like other software, it is used for storing information concerning cannabis and is found in the database of Colorado’s. This program was created to fast track each plant grown by authorized growers in Colorado.
It also has information on each package taken from each plant within the state. This data is kept in a chronological order, starting from the time the first pot plant is grown up until the time the last plant is planted. From the time of planting, the MITS monitors what each marijuana plant is made of. That is, the software is capable of recording precise information of the content of each plant from the moment it is planted. This program stays with the plant until the plant is harvested. Once the plant is harvested and taken to the factory, the MITS software will still have the vital information needed. The program also contains the origin of each bird from which the marijuana product comes. Thus, it is considered a source of information because of the chronological record of accomplishment that it holds about the plant.
The state as well as the department of marijuana enforcement use the information kept in the software. This information as well helps the two organs of the law in tracking illegal pot found within the state of Colorado. This is because each authorized marijuana planter must purchase an RFID tag that has the MITS in it. They are eventually entered into the state’s database as authorized marijuana planters. Each planter has a tag for identifying every single plant found in his or her nursery. The tag then feeds the information to the MITS with the identification of the pot plant and the farmer. At the time of production, the information about each plant and its corresponding product becomes available in the MITS database. This means that if there is any doubt about any illegal marijuana, the state can easily turn to the software for precise information. Therefore, this makes the MITS an important source of information.
Explain three other procedures as part of this process of growing new trees from plant stems that you would need to know as an authorized grower of marijuana
All authorized marijuana farmers in Colorado are expected to adhere to different procedures of the MITS as stipulated by the state. It is important to know that marijuana does not grow from leaves but instead it is planted from stems. As such, the farmer takes the stem and breeds to form a plant. On accomplishing this process, the farmer must issue the new plant with a tag that has unique identification that has 24 digits attached to a radio frequency identification (RFID). The RFID number must also be attached to this tag through printing. The farmer then reads this identification and feeds it in the MITS database through the internet. This process makes the information readily available in the MITS system. When the plant is ready for harvesting, the planter of marijuana is free to discard the first tag and replace it with a new one.
He then dries the leaves and the flower buds thoroughly. The farmer them package the finished product, put the new tag in it, and finally transport it to the intended buyers. The retailed product from the farmer also has a printed label that can be read by the official of the state as they check the stores. This readable label enables the officials to differentiate between authorized and illegal marijuana. Found in the printed label is the information relates to the origin and other necessary information about the plant. The new tag is linked to MIT inventory and matched with the old information. The farmer can also decide to use different tags for each room used for manufacturing and growing of the plant.
During harvesting, the farmer usually realizes that some leaves, flowers and buds are low in quality. The farmer then packs these and other low quality byproducts and sells them to retailers who specialize in infused marijuana products such as brownies and soft drinks. During this process, the farmer ensures that these products too have an FRID tag. The grower as well see to it that each low quality product is properly tested to find out if it is contaminated and unfit for human consumption. The farmers must find out if the product contains harmful substances such as E- coli, mould and high amounts of pesticides. Each inspector must log into the database to update history for compatibility purposes.
In what three ways is the information produced of better quality after the implementation of MITS? For full points, support your answer by facts from the case
Information produced for such purposes of marijuana should be of high quality. First, the information found in the MITS inventory of the state of Colorado is very accessible. From the case, one understands that the RFID tag comes with a printable pieces that if readable. The accessibility of the information is also seen in the fact that the MITS database is open to all the state and other officials who are charged with the duty of inspecting the authenticity of the retailed marijuana. Apart from state and other officials, the growers also have ease of access to information. This is clear since the case states that the farmers have the capability of making from old to new RFID tags during harvesting.
After the implementation of MITS, the quality of information improves as it becomes reliable. The reliability of any pieces of information becomes evident during its usage and the way it is fed into the inventory. The information about the marijuana is reliable because the farmers must feed it individually to the MITS database. The farmer is free to make changes as are required of him or her. The farmer also follows standard procedures put in place by the state to feed such piece of data. Every authorized grower of marijuana relies on the activity as a source of income and as such, most of them do their best to follow all the requirements. The case also shows that state officials have access to the inventory, prompting the farmers to feed reliable data about the plant. Therefore, the data comes across as fit for purpose.
The data is also cost effective. The case indicates that the state government spent about $1.6 million dollars in coming up with the MITS software and on readers who will use the software. This process is cost effective because the state used a reasonable amount of money to cater for two important reasons. Since spending the 1.6 million dollars on development and readers, the government has not used any more money on maintenance and other minor technical issues. Thus, the developed software has had very few, if not minimal needs for repair and maintenance, which can siphon more money from the state.
As a manufacturer of marijuana “infused” soft drinks, give one example of each of the three types of management decisions (operational, managerial, and strategic) that may be made. Outline some of the information required to make each of these decisions
Management decisions refer to those resolutions that most business organizations use in order to boost their sales and improve the quality of their products. Manufacturers of infused soft drinks from marijuana must also make important operational, managerial and strategic decisions while conducting their businesses. An example of operational decision that the marijuana infused soft drink manufacturer can make include setting schedules for production and determining appropriate levels of raw materials inventory. Raw material inventory is a data that show the nature of the raw materials such as buds, flowers and leaves that will be used for making the infused drinks.
The information stored in the inventory includes the effectiveness of the material for manufacturing products that are effective for human consumption. One the information that the manufacture would need while making operations management decisions is that before any raw material can be used, it has to go through thorough examinations to find out if it is fit for human consumption. Another important information for making operations decisions include the quality and quantity of products to be manufactures. The manufacturer has to come up with products of high quality to attract and retain clients. The manufacturer of marijuana must produce the amount of products in order to meet customers’ demands.
Managerial decision-making refers to those business resolutions made by mid level managers within a company. Such decisions are usually specific in nature and aim at accomplishing decisions made by top-level management within the organization. Any marijuana manufacturer can make a managerial decision, such as which type of products then he should produce. For example, he can decide to concentrate on the production of just one type of infused drink, instead of producing many of such products. Some of the information required to make management decisions include a thorough market analysis to find out the infused products that are already trending in the market. The manufacturer will also need to know customer preferences and as well as competitors in the intended market. The manufacturer might also want to know the cost of production. Such information is important as it enables the manufacturer to produce goods of high quality that makes him or her competitive.
Strategic decisions refer to those decisions that help in establishing the purpose, goals and directions of the entire business organization. Usually, strategic decisions are made by the top management and cover different areas of the firm. A marijuana manufacturer is usually the top manager in the business. One of his strategic decisions may include a general decision to produce and package their own includes drink. They can also decide to enter a new market during the manufacturing process.
The marijuana manufacturer needs to know the functions of different department within his or her manufacturing business to know what job to assign to which department. He also needs to understand that the strategic decisions of the manufacturing business are general and wide reaching. They also vary depending on each sector of the business. For example, the human resource management sector does not have the same jobs and functions as the clearing and forwarding department. The manufacturer might also need more information for venturing into a new market or for producing new goods.
Assume that MITS’ database includes a Grower table (describing authorized growers of
Marijuana) and Plant table (describing marijuana plants)
- List 5 fields that may exist in each of the tables.
The fields for growers table may include entries such as name and identification, grower authorization serial number, area of operation, type of operation (large or small scale farmer), and MITS access code. The plant table would include the type of plant, intended products, use of each product (e.g. recreational or medications), height of plant, and RFID tag.
- Identify the key field in each table
The main field in the growers table includes MITS access code, name and identification of the farmer and growers authorization serial numbers. It is important to remember that the grower authorization serial number is unique for each farmer. The key field in the pant table includes the RFID tag, which is unique for each plant grown, product and use of each product.
- Describe the relationship (bi-lateral) between these two tables
The mutual relationship between these two tables includes an entry such as the RFID tag for each plant. This important is important for both tables for all of the tables need to have up to date information on the products. The second relationship is in the connection between the MITS access codes the RFID chip. This is because the tags enable ease of access to information about any plant. Thus, the farmer can also use his access code to find important information about the drug back at home. The tables should also have a relationship based on the type of products each farmer gets from the grown plants. This enables the farmer to make decision, such as increasing the rate of production
- Would MITS be considered an online transaction processing (OLTP) system?
Support your position.
An online transaction processing (OLTP) system is an arrangement of data than can be used by different individuals to find information about any particular product. The MITS is a database that contains information about the type of marijuana plant from planting to harvesting. State officials and officers from the department of revenue’s marijuana enforcement division, use information found in the MITS database for tracking different information about the plant, especially its usage. The information found in the MITS is only for authorized marijuana planters. This information enables theses law enforcers to track illegal marihuana plants and products within the state.
Therefore, the MITS can be described as a partial online transaction system since it does not give full information about the product once it goes to the market. It cannot be used by intended buyers and sellers to find out more information such as the content of the product, methods of production, and expiry date among other thing that most finished products usually have. Farmers also cannot find full information about the plant from the MITS database. Instead, they feed the information into the software on their own. Thus, it is not a complete online transaction system and cannot be used for transacting any marijuana business in anyway.
Provide two advantages and two disadvantages of real-time processing of MITS’
The first advantage of having a real time MITS database is that it avails information concerning the pot plant from the first time it is planted to the time it is harvested. After harvesting, the original information is maintained as the new one is updated into the database to match the old information. The second advantage of real time processing of information is that it is very reliable and can be used for longer periods. Those who rely on the data such as state officials do not have to fear that the information can be lost or be erased by anyone. This is because the database is constantly monitored for the changes and other updates.
The real time information about MITS faces technical challenges just as any information stored on a technological device. From time to time, the software might fail to function, making it difficult to retrieve the required information. The MITS also pose challenges to those who are not technologically oriented. This is especially true for farmers who lack proper background training on how to use information technology equipment. They might find it difficult to feed and update information about their marijuana plants and products.
Describe two possible MITS OLAP reports that may be used by the Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division. Include the purpose of each report.
The MITS OLAP has many reports that are used by the department of revenue’s marijuana enforcement division. The first report is one that contains information about all the authorized retail and medical marijuana planters. In this report is the name and places of residence of the farmers. The report also contains identification or serial numbers of the marijuana farmers for easy tracking. The purpose of this report is to identify and make known all the farmers who have the license to grow marijuana for medical and retail purposes. The second report is a record of all medical and retail products. It lists all types of medical and retail products made from marijuana. The report has information such as which plant the product came from, when the product was harvested, processed and packaged. It also shows the store in which the retail product is being sold and the hospital or health facility in which the marijuana medical products are used. The report also shows the farmer who was responsible for the plant until it was converted into consumable merchandise.
Provide one possible query for MITS’ data mining software and fully explain why
It would be important to the Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement
One inquiry that the MITS data mining software should constantly think is its security. Thus, they should always ask how secure is the software? This is because there are many unauthorized marijuana farmers who would want to register illegally themselves as certified farmers. The only way they are able to do this is by hacking the MITS software system to feed their information. The system can also be hacked by malicious individuals who have ill intentions of destroying the information. Therefore, protecting the data and enforcing high security should be an important activity or concern of the department of revenue’s enforcement marijuana division. This inquiry will also be of great importance to the division officials in cases when they are tracking illegal farmers and products in the market.
List four distinct team members on the MITS implementation project team. Include some of the typical duties/responsibilities performed by each member on the project team
The MITS implementation team consists of the software engineers, the state officials, managers of the department of revenue’s enforcement marijuana division and the authorized farmers. The software engineers are responsible for monitoring how the MITS database works. They are also charged with the duties of making any technological updates, as well as conducting repairs and maintain activities as they come. The engineers also check any malfunction that might occur in the database and corrects them for proper functioning. The state officials serve the duty of making sure that all marijuana farmers in Colorado are licensed to grow the plant. They also make sure that the authorized farmers strictly follow the state rules and regulations for producing marijuana medical and retail products.
Officials from the department of revenue’s enforcement marijuana division ensures that all the marijuana produces, medical or retail are meeting the necessary production conditions. They also make sure that all the retailers and manufactures duly pay their taxes. Any farmer or retail who evades taxes are scrutinized and prosecuted according by the officials from the division. Authorized farmers on the other hand must form part of the implementation team since they are responsible for grower, manufacturing, packaging and distributing the products.
Fully explain the four ways in which the use of an old system is stopped and a new system is started (i.e., the system is converted) along with two advantages and two disadvantages for each method. Which method of conversion would you recommend for implementing MITS and why?
An old system can be converted into a new one using methods such as parallel conversion, phased conversion, direct changeover and pilot conversion. Direct change over involves the immediate stoppage of the use of the old system and the immediate adoption of the use of the new system. The advantages of this method are that it requires few resources in terms of people, equipment and funding. It is also a simple method to use as long as nothing goes wrong during the sudden change. Direct changeover has the disadvantage of being disastrous for the business if the system fails. It can also be very risky, especially when cutting edge software and hardware are used.
Parallel conversion refers to the change in which the business allows users to utilize both old and new systems until they are fully comfortable with and understands how to use the new system. The old system if then abolished and users fully rely on the new system. This method has the advantage of minimizing the risk of introducing a new system. It also gives users ample time to understand the new system for proper productivity. Its disadvantages include the issue of time wastage especially on the employees’ side since they do the same work twice. The method also adds to the quantity of planning needed for the implementation of the new system.
Phased conversion – one module is converted at a time into the new system in this process. This conversion takes place in phases in a step-by-step mode until the entire old system is fully converted into a new one. The first advantage of this method is that the engineers can deal with issues arising from each phase before moving to the next phase. It also gives the users an ability to get used to working with new phases before they move on completely to the entire system. It has the disadvantage of being suited only for a system that has separate units. Secondly, the movement from one phase to the next can be very time consuming.
Pilot conversion is a method that is used by an organization that has many branches. In this method, the system change takes place in one branch, and then moved to the next branch. Its advantages are that it can be implemented on much manageable smaller scales. It is also suitable for larger organizations with many branches. Its disadvantages include the fact that it takes longer to install the new system in all branches. It can also be tedious in terms of movement and transportation.
Of all the four processes mentioned above, the best for MITS is the parallel conversion method as it allows users to change gradually from the old into the new system. The gradual change allows users to gain sufficient amounts of information for using the new system.
Provide three advantages and three disadvantages of building MITS rather than buying existing software.
Advantages of building MITS
The engineers are acquainted with every part of the inventory, and will be at ease in making changes and carrying out repair. It is cheaper to build than to buy an MITS. It is also possible for the users and the organization to keep the information found in the MITS confident and accessible to themselves.
Disadvantages of building MITS
The process may lead to resource consuming. It might involve various steps that require high technical attention. The process can also be time consuming, especially in large companies.
After MITS has been implemented, provide three risks that management should take into account for successfully using this system. Provide a way in which each of these risks may be mitigated or reduced
The management should consider the possibility of system failure. To mitigate such risks, the software engineering department should constantly monitor the functions of the system. They should also upgrade the system accordingly. They should consider the possibility of the system being hacked. Therefore, the management should put programs that monitor intrusions in place. System incompatibility is another risk that the management must be wary of. They can resolve such an issue by ensuring that the MITS system can be used along with other software within the organization.