Jessica McKeil   |   January 16, 2020

Critical Infrastructure: Cannabis Tech Giant Introduces Solutions for Hemp

With the hemp industry (and therefore CBD) coming online in 2019, regulation of the plant has become a tangled knot of taxes, quality controls, and strict monitoring.
Jessica McKeil is a freelance writer focused on the medical marijuana industry, from production methods to medicinal applications. She personally found relief through cannabis for the treatment of her panic and anxiety disorder. She is lucky…

From a bird's eye view, the cannabis landscape is more complicated than ever before. While a majority of states now have some form of cannabis legislation on the books, no two states look alike.

The production requirements of both cannabis varietals, THC-rich cannabis, and CBD-focused hemp, is a continually evolving regulatory environment. Track and trace technologies have become the cornerstone of a healthy industry.

Already a key player within this complex ecosystem, Helix BioTrack (BioTrackTHC) has just added a crucial hemp module inside their seed-to-sale compliance platform. Announced in late 2019, BioTrackTHC, with the hemp addition, is now fully operational in Delaware. A world first, the new hemp module piggybacks on the successes of their initial solution. BioTrackTHC is a cannabis track and trace software for all operators within the cannabis ecosystem, from cultivators to retailers and beyond.

Some may argue hemp-based products (regulated to under 0.3 percent THC) are non-intoxicating and therefore require little to no regulation. The state of the market says otherwise. As a consumer product, and one often marketed with medicinal benefits (proven or not), strict controls are needed to keep the supply chain clean, potencies monitored, and customers safe.

2020 will be a new era for hemp-based consumer goods, and Helix BioTrack's decision to create a space for hemp could not have better timing.

BioTrackTHC Promise for Hemp

In November, BioTrackTHC COO, Dr. Moe Afaneh, explained to Proactive, "As regulatory frameworks around hemp evolve, we are blazing a trail and continue to deliver industry-leading solutions." In practice, this means software solutions specific to hemp, which create a detailed audit trail for hemp products for any Delaware operators currently using this system. Compliance is just as critical for hemp, as it has been for other forms of cannabis.

An audit trail is a key component for any heavily regulated industry —especially for hemp, which doesn't necessarily have all the kinks worked out. From the assignment of a globally unique 16 digit identifier during cultivation to the archiving of harvest details to full traceability as the product is processed and sold, BioTrackTHC hemp module promises the same services to the booming hemp industry as it has for the cannabis sector.

According to the company, the hemp module enforces much-needed protocols for the industry, including, "Mandated controls, requiring testing before the hemp can be unlocked within the system and proceed to manufacturing of CBD and mixed THC-CBD products."

With the addition of hemp into its suite of software solutions, BioTrackTHC continues to improve compliance for all operators within the cannabis sector and improve consumer safety.

A Proven Track Record in Cannabis

To date, BioTrackTHC operates in ten US states and territories. Since launching in 2013, products traced through the BioTrackTHC platform have reached more than 2,000 active dispensaries, 38 states, and seven countries. That totals more than $18 billion in cannabis sales in less than a decade.

The security and compliance-focused system also passed through a SAS No. 70 audit (now SSAE 16), which confirms its compliance for electronic prescriptions. Furthermore, the software has been granted access and usage of FedRAMP, "an isolated AWS region designed to host sensitive data and regulated workloads in the cloud, helping customers support their US government compliance requirements, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP)."

Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the US hemp industry has gone through a rapid transition from agriculture-based on research-project to a remarkable boom. According to a recent market analysis by Brightfield, predicts the CBD market alone to hit $23.7 billion by 2023.

The hemp industry, like any new sector, is now experiencing the expected growing pains. Regulators are frantically trying to keep pace with the sheer scale of the market. Helix BioTrack's move to provide the same track and trace deliverables to the hemp industry as it has for the cannabis sector was a smart, natural progression for the company.

Helix BioTrack CEO, Zachary Venegas, defined the company's mission to Proactive, "It is our job to solve the problems and provide solutions to the challenges that face the cannabis industry." With the addition of hemp into the BioTrackTHC software ecosystem, it demonstrates the company's drive "to innovate and focus on the needs of this rapidly growing space." Seed to sale compliance within hemp is a critical piece of infrastructure that will grow in importance as new markets open up in the US and around the world.

 

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