Evolution of Seed to Sale Technology in CannabisIn this episode of A Tech Moment, we talk about the evolution of technology within the cannabis industry with BioTrackTHC CEO, Patrick Vo.
BioTrackTHC has been a pioneer in the field of cannabis industry software. The Florida-based company’s seed-to-sale tracking system has been serving the needs of cannabis farmers, manufacturers, and dispensaries for more than a decade. BioTrack THC has an active presence in 36 states, DC, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, Jamaica, Canada, Colombia, Australia, and New Zealand, making them a true leader in the implementation of cannabis technology solutions.
Always anxious to innovate, BioTrackTHC has launched an exciting new pilot project in cooperation with the North Dakota Department of Health. For the first time, using BioTrack’s proprietary technology, medical marijuana patients in the state are able to register entirely online. When their applications are approved, they receive a digital version of their medicinal cannabis card. This virtual card works the same as a paper card and is valid at any dispensary, as long as customers also have a physical driver’s license or state-issued ID card to confirm their identity.
“There will no longer be any need to wait for a physical card to be printed, or for it to be mailed to you, you can literally download it to your mobile phone as soon as it is available,” explains BioTrack CEO Patrick Vo.
At BioTrackTHC, the emphasis has always been on using technology to improve the cannabis industry. BioTrack software is designed to make things run more smoothly for growers, producers, retailers, consumers, and regulators, and in this case, it helps medical patients gain quicker access to cannabis products that can dramatically improve the quality of their lives.
With Regulation Comes Opportunity
From the beginning, cannabis has been unlike any other legal industry. Medicinal cannabis has been wildly popular with the American people for years. However, that hasn’t stopped regulators and government officials from burdening the cannabis industry with stringent rules and requirements. They’ve been at least partially motivated by the fear that legal cannabis businesses might somehow be used as a front for illegal activity.
This has forced cannabis companies to be extra-diligent about tracking, and that is where BioTrack has been making an impact. The success of BioTrackTHC stems largely from their understanding that cannabis offers both unique challenges and unique opportunities, once the situation is perceived from the right perspective. Obstacles are made to be overcome, and BioTrack has helped the industry evolve in a positive direction through their contributions in this area.
“Medical cannabis tracking is a blend of agricultural tracking and pharmaceutical tracking with a little bit of extra craziness on top,” is how Vo describes the system and its requirements. Strict laws and variance between state regulations have provided the impetus for BioTrack to customize software that is both highly flexible and highly transparent.
BioTrack THC software is an all-in-one system applicable to the needs of cultivation operations, processing and manufacturing and point-of-sale activity in all states and municipalities. Universal compliance is the name of the game, and it’s a game BioTrack has learned to play like an expert.
Patrick Vo emphasizes how important it is to bring transparency and accountability to an industry that is often forced (through no fault of its own) to function on the margins.
“Our software gives these legitimate, well-meaning, good faith businesses the ability to provide comfort to the regulators, law enforcement and the government,” he says. “Our first level of priority is to make sure there is truly a distinction [identifiable to regulators] between the legal supply chain and the illicit supply chain.”
For more than a decade, BioTrackTHC has been helping its customers keep their records in tip-top order, guaranteeing compliance in an industry where hoops must be jumped through repeatedly to keep regulatory agencies happy.
The Next Generation and Beyond
Naturally, a company as dynamic as BioTrackTHC has broader ambitions.
“How do we add further value to the industry, to the supply chain?” Vo asks rhetorically. “How do we make sure that medicine gets to the patients faster?”
As their response to such questions, BioTrackTHC is currently preparing the launch of its second-generation seed-to-sale tracking system. This software will be even more flexible and adaptable than its predecessor, which is necessary for an industry where legal requirements are in flux and vary broadly between localities.
For Patrick Vo, the new software from BioTrack is just the latest iteration in its ongoing plan to integrate appropriate and empowering technology with cannabis production and consumption.
“Our newest product,” Vo says, “is one more step in the evolution of how technology is going to play a significant role in making sure that everyone participating in the industry—business owners, regulators, and consumers—can find as much success as possible from its existence.”
The Future of Software Ecosystems
The inconsistencies between state laws and regulations have kept the cannabis industry from adopting uniform standards and practices. BioTrackTHC software is designed to make sure this doesn’t cause problems for cannabis businesses, and their continuing success in this area has proven that it can be done.
Rather than an endpoint, Vo sees his firm’s seed-to-sale software as just one useful tool for empowering the cannabis entrepreneur’s quest for maximum profitability through modernization.
“The seed-to-sale system should be one foundational component out of a business’s broader software ecosystem,” he declares. Vo foresees more and more vertical integration of cannabis-related business practices as a result of technological innovation, with activities like tracking, accounting, and customer relations all being eventually integrated into the same software system. The possibilities for such integration are only beginning to be explored, and Vo would like BioTrackTHC to be at the forefront of these exciting developments.
“The industry is continuing to evolve, and as we solve those baseline problems, we can move on to solve additional problems and make the entire industry run more effectively.”
In its initial introduction to cannabis, BioTrackTHC software was seen as a necessary response to dilemmas caused by strict regulatory requirements. Now, the company’s role is to help the industry become more efficient and transparent, and sufficiently proactive in its readiness to adopt technology that streamlines business operations for the good of the consumer, grower, manufacturer, retailer, and regulator.