Kristina Etter   |   May 24, 2018

The Ripple Effect of BlockStrain Technology

Blockchain technology is best known in the cannabis industry for its implications to the financial sector and the possibilities it presents to get around the red tape of cannabis banking. However, blockchain technology may also present a multitude of possibilities for the agricultural aspects of the industry as well.
Before becoming a freelance cannabis writer, Kristina Etter, spent 20 years in corporate information technology with companies including Maytag Appliances, Wells Fargo Financial, and DuPont Pioneer. With a niche in mobile technology and…

 

WeedMD, one of Canada’s largest Licensed Producers of medical cannabis has recently announced an investment into BLOCKStrain Technology Corporation, formerly known as Scorpion Resources Inc. In the terms, WeedMD Inc. gained a seat on the board of directors for the sum of C$500,000. This merger makes WeedMD the first Licensed Producer in Canada to integrate with blockchain technology.

Who is BLOCKStrain Technology?

Bloomberg shows the Vancouver technology company operating as a pharmaceutical entity which provides “cannabis genetics registration and licensing archive platforms to shape the future adoption and authenticity of the cannabis industry.” In simplest terms, BLOCKStrain has developed an integrated blockchain platform to log and monitor cannabis intellectual property from genome to sale.

This platform establishes a transparent and public, single source of truth for cannabis strains using absolute, cryptographically secure, exclusive blockchain technology. Similar to how other agriculture crops like corn establish genetics, cannabis genetics are specific to the breeder. Until now, however, it has been difficult to prove exactly where a strain originated. BLOCKStrain Technology can help ensure customers know not only exactly which strain of cannabis they are buying, but it can be traced back to where it came from, what chemicals were applied during the process, when it was harvested, and where it was processed.

Through BLOCKStrain’s technology, the cannabis industry can address three specific problems:

  • Testing – Mandatory testing is time consuming and an administrative burden. BLOCKStrain, and their lab partners, streamline the process.
  • Genetics – by creating a genetic fingerprint which identifies and validates the products electronically, anyone on the platform can view and track their product from genome to sale.
  • Intellectual Property (IP) – most importantly, the platform protects the IP of individual growers and breeders. By registering the strain’s genome, it locks the ownership of the strain into data in the block chain forever.

 

Blockchain Meets Crowdsourcing

 

Ideally, this blockchain-based concept will provide the industry with a true product verification process from genome to sale.

In the process, users, such as a grower, breeder, or consumer create an account with BLOCKStrain. Suppliers will submit their products, whether it’s seeds, organic material, or extractions, for testing at an approved lab. The test results are then logged in BLOCKStrain’s platform where they are recorded in a manner which cannot be modified or hacked.

In addition, each product is given a traceable QR code, so consumers and patients can also rate the product, write reviews and share opinions. Participants are verified and earn certifications for participation in the platform.

BLOCKStrain believes categorizing and logging genetics and characteristics of cannabis products is key to the survival of the legal cannabis industry. Their technology is aimed at providing integrity, safety, compliance, and authenticity within the industry to help meet any future regulatory standards which may be imposed.

Per the company’s website,

“The main advantage of BLOCKStrain is to ensure product licensing and authenticity providing assurance of revenue, and more importantly, product integrity and safety.”

Meeting the stringent requirements of state regulators and compliance requires a system which can track nearly every facet of the cannabis cultivation and retail process, from pesticide and fertilizer use, to possession limits and portion control. Tracking this amount of data in a ledger which cannot be modified or altered is only possible with blockchain technology.

With their partnership with WeedMD, BLOCKStrain is helping to bring safety and consistency to the cannabis industry several ways:

  • Bringing transparency to growers and cultivators, allowing the consumer to weed out poor quality suppliers.

  • Providing the ability to track exactly when a product was planted, harvested, and processed… and by whom.

  • Establishing qualified and trustworthy data which cannot be modified once its logged.

WeedMD has a 26,000 square foot indoor cultivation facility in Ontario, while a second location with more than 600,000 square feet is due to open in July of this year which will increase the company’s production from 1,500 kg to more than 21,000 kg. This partnership with BLOCKStrain, a first attempt by cannabis entity to integrate blockchain, provides WeedMD the opportunity to expand on its library of cannabis genetics, as well as, set a new standard in cannabis production.

 

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