MJ Freeway Hack Causes Dispensary Closures, Could Be Weeks Offline

The villains behind the attack are still unknown.

Cannabis tech firm MJ Freeway, which provides dispensaries with seed-to-sale tracking and inventory-management platform, was allegedly hacked Sunday. More than 1,000 weed retailers in Colorado, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Arizona are experiencing delayed sales, with some shops closing entirely as a result of the outage.

The Denver, Colorado-based MJ Freeway platform told the Boston Globe it could take up to three weeks to return to full functionality.

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“It was a cyber-attack, and it was targeted at us specifically,” Jeannette Ward, MJ Freeway’s executive director of data and marketing, told the Boston Globe. “We are going full-force with a forensic investigation, and we’ll turn over the results to criminal investigators as needed.”

Encrypted client information stored on the platform, which includes transactional history, was made vulnerable by the attack, though MJ Freeway doesn't believe any of this data was compromised. Complications on the platform have happened before. 

"This isn't the first time [MJ Freeway] has been down for 48 hours and probably won't be the last," a consultant who works with Colorado dispensaries, and asked to remain unnamed, tells KINDLAND. "Most dispensaries will stay open by writing manual invoices/receipts and keeping records of sales, batch numbers, and tax in an Excel file."

In the meantime, the company reportedly plans on providing dispensaries with access to older versions of the platform.

"It’s unfortunate for clients, for sure, but at least it gives them a system to operate in, versus paper, which is what they’re doing right now,” Jeanette Ward, an MJ Freeway representative told Marijuana Business Daily. “What we hoped [to] resolve with some scripts is turning out to be a manual process of re-creating clients’ historical data from those redundant backups."