Editorial Team   |   June 10, 2020

Blockchain Cannabis Solutions

Innovative blockchain platforms could help cannabis businesses.
Our CannabisTech writers come from a wide variety of backgrounds with a passion for cannabis and technology, matched only by their desire to educate the world about the cannabis industry.

Over the last several years, we’ve heard of blockchain as the latest technology that could thoroughly shake a few industries — such as music and streaming, government and education, banks, and financial institutions. To envision the power of blockchain, think of how the Internet appeared in our life just a few decades ago and look at where we are now.

Today, cannabis and hemp businesses have already started to embrace the possibilities offered by blockchain — as an emerging industry that deals with many challenges in the supply chain, payment systems, and transaction tracking. Thus, blockchain technology is poised to revolutionize innovative startups in the way they handle their operations and sell their products to consumers.

Let’s explore what blockchain solutions exist today for the cannabis business.

Challenges Faced by Canna-business

The cannabis industry is still facing various impediments. By the end of 2020, 40 states could allow some form of legal marijuana. But at present, on the federal level, the business has yet to be fully legalized. On top of lacking full federal support — which would allow most cannabis businesses to thrive even more and provide greater job prospects — there are obstacles in the areas of the supply chain, payment system, and taxes, just to name a few.

The supply chain of the cannabis business is challenged by the competition of the illegal markets. Plus, most cannabis ventures are young and comprised of young startups that lack proper funding from investors, especially during COVID-19. Frauds and cyber attacks also threaten the cannabis market as there’s no protection from the federal state. Lastly, establishing vertical supply chains is tough for most cannabis companies that lack transparency and trust in the ecosystem.

Restricted payments are another plague for cannabis startups and more established businesses. As they face difficulties claiming loans from the bank, many young companies need to sustain other forms of funding. Even in states where cannabis is entirely legal, most financial institutions tend to be reluctant to support cannabis businesses, due to the negative image that prevails. As far as processing payments, cannabis dispensaries, for instance, need to handle most transactions in cash, which has even become more complicated with the pandemic.

Taxes and inadequate record-keeping also prevent cannabis businesses to expand. For instance, the Washington state collects up to 37% of sales on legal marijuana, making it tough for young cannabis startups to blossom. Plus, record keeping has traditionally been inadequate for this market from planting to distribution and is required by states which have legalized marijuana.

How Blockchain Can Help

Blockchain has been on everyone’s mouth for some years and promises to help many industries, such as the emerging cannabis business. As a transparent ledger that records transactions safely on “a block,” and by issuing cryptocurrencies that can be used to handle payments and transactions, blockchain could solve most of the cannabis business pain points.

For instance, when a product changes on the supply chain, blockchain could record the transactions and enables businesses to keep track accurately of their products — from the production factories to the distribution points — preventing them from fraud or theft. Consumers can also benefit from such information and be sure their products are coming from licensed businesses — ensuring product quality is met and doesn’t come from the black market. That’s what the promising Wazabi certification has been developed by DMG blockchain — to provide a single source of trust and maintain data compliance for businesses and their markets.

Alt 36 is tackling the payment system of cannabis businesses — and is the first and only compliant digital payment solution for the legal marijuana market. The technology created by this innovative tech startup enables companies and consumers to handle digital payments (let’s say from a dispensary) seamlessly with zero fees. Powered by a cutting edge blockchain solution, Alt 36 enables businesses to collect payments digitally and safely, helping them maintain transactions and stay away from fraud.

In medical and recreational cannabis, we’ve seen outstanding progress with forward-thinking cannabis blockchain solutions. An example of such innovations is the leading Global Cannabis Applications Corp, which has launched the Citizen Green platform — the world’s first medical data solution from patient to regulator. Using six core technologies, including mobile applications, artificial intelligence, reg tech, smart databases, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies, the platform helps patients qualify for medical studies in the cannabis industry.

Outlook is Bright for Blockchain

Great outlooks await cannabis businesses as legalization progresses in most states, and innovative blockchain solutions develop. From payment to supply chain, blockchain could be the answer to the cannabis industry most pain points as of today.


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