Karhlyle Fletcher   |   November 07, 2019

How Blockchain Provides Ample Defense Through Cannabis Tracking

Cannabis has historically been considered a gray market. Thus, a push for visibility is one of the most important aspects of proving the cannabis industry is not a black sheep. Critics have reason to say that there is no telling whether or not all of the cannabis sold was produced legally, and there are also producers who do sell to the black market. Impartial and constant monitoring of the legal industry may seem extreme, but it could establish the reputation cannabis deserves. 
A passionate Detroit local, Karhlyle works everyday to establish ethical access to information on the national and city level. Medical, as well as technical research, is a driving passion of his, but he is also a published fiction author,…

What Trace Does and How they can Help You Bring Your Industry into Complete Legality

Cannabis Tech recently had the privilege to interview the CEO of Trace, Joshua Decatur. 

“I come from the cannabis industry,” he explained, “so I’ve started and run medical grows in Vermont, working with my brother, hemp grows out here as well, and I was on a farm in Northern California the summer of 2017, just ahead of the recreation market… [we] were seeing that product verification and compliance was not just important for regulatory reasons, but also for commerce and just doing good business. And that overlap of interests was where Trace began. Trying to rethink and how to reimagine how we could get good records for what a product is and where it comes from.”

Continuing, Decatur said, “Our philosophy with Trace was to make a system that made it so that everyone was accountable to their own data and their own information and that liability was limited at the walls of their business. So that if I was the cultivator and if I was selling some of my products in the market with a test result attached to it, people could verify that the test result actually came from the test facility and wasn’t just a PDF being passed off by me. Things like that are really the security we’re focused on bringing into the industry.”

Trace recently received a patent for certain technology they’re developing within the blockchain world. This patent describes a decentralized system of machines that communicate through several lists to establish permissions. 

Certain machines have permission to edit particular lists, while a second machine can edit a second and fourth data set, while a first machine can edit a first and third dataset. Meanwhile, a decentralized network can execute commands to access these datasets, and see which machines have which permissions. 

Machines may be added into the system, but if they are not a part of it, their requests for information will be denied. This allows for data to exist in a way that is difficult for one person to manipulate. 

If one wanted to fake information, or delete data, they would have to have access to several machines, each of which has different privileges. No situation is impossible, but by using blockchain technology, producers can heavily avoid suspicion that they are altering information.

In addition to this, the continual visibility of crops through monitoring via several machines from seed-to-sale means that the government can access any information they may desire. There is no loophole when everything is accounted for. 

This standard may seem extreme to an industry that developed essentially in the dark, meaning that producers were more likely to avoid those who work with the law than associate with them; however, providing records for products will become a necessity. For those that go on to break into the field, this means significant expenses, unless they work with companies like Trace. Decatur said that “tagging up your plants with an RIFV chip and things like this sound like a good idea when you’re a 36 plant medical grow or a really small grow in Colorado, but when you start seeding field and growing hemp, or when you start really expanding an operation to meet the needs of a multibillion-dollar industry that type of compliance is just unrealistic, and it especially hurts small businesses.” 

 

Ways to Improve Accountability and Visibility In Addition to Blockchain Technologies 

Another company, FlowHub, offers the Stash App,  which runs registers and cameras. They allow for every sale to be tracked, and for continual monitoring of cannabis facilities. Visibility such as this will be how cannabis becomes a household industry. 

As long as outsiders can question the ethics of how cannabis is produced, they will be able to misalign cannabis as an illegitimate industry. For those in the legal market, providing a complete account of their business may seem condescending, but legitimate producers should have nothing to hide.

 

Other Companies Within Blockchain and Why to Work with Them

Blockchain technologies offer an independent way of proving the legitimacy of the cannabis industry. 

In Canada, DMG Blockchain offers technology which allows for label verifications, visibility from seed to sale, and automated reported to regulatory authorities. Such companies will pave the way towards national governments, recognizing cannabis as a promising industry. 

Another company, Tokes Platform, pairs blockchain with cryptocurrency to give cannabis autonomy and independence as an industry. They use the Waves network to provide a fast and inexpensive exchange of currency. 

Consumers can purchase ‘Tokes’ at kiosks before a sale, and may spend those to obtain cannabis. They also work to make cannabis a more visible industry by supplying regular and unmolested data throughout the process of production. 

Cannabis may have started as a homegrown industry, but in the future, it could be a major industry, whether within the United States or on the global stage. Blockchain allows cannabis to smoothly transition into this role with as few hiccups as possible. 

“Together, as an industry, we really have the opportunity to leapfrog a lot of the hard lessons learned in other industries and create something unique. I think there’s a lot of talk these days about hemp and CBD being like [insert any other industry here] and there’s not a lot of respect paid to the nuances of the plant and the nuances of the supply chain. So, we want to be a new model at Trace and be a partner to the industry and the legislators, and to reimagine how commerce can get done, and how heavily regulated industries can still be accessible to small businesses. That’s at the core of our mission, is creating a more efficient, more trustworthy, more decentralized supply chain for the sake of everybody,” Decatur explained. “We need partners in that. Reach out.”

 

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