Cannabis investors are looking at blockchain as the next big thing for pot stocks after Shoppers Drug Mart revealed its plan to use blockchain technology to ensure the quality of medical cannabis from seed-to-sale at the World Cannabis Conference last week.
Canada’s largest pharmacy chain announced that it signed a deal with TruTrace Technologies (CSE:TTT) (OTCPK:BKKSF), formerly BLOCKStrain, to develop and deploy a blockchain-secured pilot program to increase transparency, product identification, and interoperability to the medical cannabis space.
The pilot program will be using TruTrace’s StrainSecure™ proprietary technology as a central hub for asset tracking, identity management, validation, and product authentication.
According to Ken Weisbrod, Shoppers’ VP of business development, tools like blockchain are crucial to ensure legal marijuana is traceable and accountable for patients and practitioners to feel confident about it as a treatment.
Of course, this isn’t the first time pot stocks have embraced technology. In fact, there have been a number of innovative blockchain-based developments in the cannabis space.
Pot Stocks Embracing Blockchain Technology
One of the pot stocks that is primarily focused on merging technology and marijuana is MassRoots Inc. (OTCQB:MSRT), a leading technology platform designed specifically for the cannabis industry.
MassRoots offers mobile apps that empower consumers to make educated cannabis-purchasing decisions through community-driven reviews. It also offers a rewards program called WeedPass, which enables customers to earn tickets to sporting events, movies, and festivals by simply shopping at participating dispensaries.
In 2017, the company formed MassRoots Blockchain Technologies to bring blockchain-based solutions to the industry that offer seed-to-sale tracking, smart contracts, corporate governance, and identity management.
Another company bringing blockchain technology to the cannabis space is Rafarma Pharmaceuticals Inc (OTCPK:RAFA), a Wyoming-based multiproduct pharmaceutical company specializing in the production of generic antibiotics and specialty pharmaceuticals. Rafarma signed a deal with Aetsoft LLC, a leading developer in blockchain software, to gain exclusive rights to proprietary cannabis control software.
“New research shows the powerful health benefits of cannabis and its derivatives, and strong social movements are pushing for increased legalization. One way to improve the reputation of the industry is to modernize it, standardize it, and make it fully verifiable–built on a system of trust between patients, doctors, growers, and suppliers,” said Rafarma CEO Srečo Bojt in the press release. “Blockchain technology offers an ideal solution. Since blockchain creates an immutable ledger and assured contracts, it can easily accommodate the recording and storing of all product life cycle events, verify patient identification, assure payments, and more.”
Meanwhile, Emerald Health Therapeutics (TSXV:EMH) (OTCQX:EMHTF), which has a 50-50 partnership with Village Farms International (TSX:VFF) (NASDAQ:VFF), is teaming up with DMG Blockchain Solutions (OTCQB:DMGGF) for a joint venture called CannaChain Technologies, a blockchain-based supply chain and e-commerce marketplace for the cannabis industry.
How Pot Stocks Can Benefit from Blockchain
Despite all of its recent growth, the legal marijuana industry is still in its infancy, transitioning slowly but surely from illicit to legal as more states and countries move to legalize both medical and recreational adult-use marijuana. Many believe that the introduction of blockchain technology, which is an immutable ledger, will help bring more compliance, legitimacy, confidence, trust, and quality assurance to the cannabis industry.
Blockchain technology can improve customer experience, inventory management, supply chain processes, product quality, product transparency, patient and prescription verification, and security.
It can provide supply chain transparency by allowing cannabis companies to track and trace activity logs, transfers, permissions, and safety concerns. Blockchain can also enhance the customer experience by providing them with detailed information about the product, where it came from, how much THC content it contains, when it hit the shelf, etc.
On top of that, pot stocks using blockchain offer customers higher security, as it removes the need to share private information with third parties, and can even facilitate peer-to-peer transactions and track purchases.
It will be exciting to see how the introduction of blockchain technology will benefit pot stocks across the industry. Investors who are interested in both cannabis and technology are likely delighted by these new innovations that bring the two industries together.
Are there any other cannabis companies embracing blockchain technology? Let us know in the comments!
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