Already seeing success as a transparent traceability solution in food distribution and the pharmaceutical industry, blockchain is emerging as a technology suited perfectly for the large amounts of data needed to safely track cannabis plants from seed to sale. Uruguay’s æternity, a new face in the emerging blockchain movement, has announced it is partnering with Uruguay Can to implement a cannabis tracking system based on the Internet of Things (IOT) and blockchain technology.
According to an æternity press release, implementation is beginning immediately and set to be completed by January 2020 with full completion set for mid-2021.
“The ability to trace the source and the way cannabis is produced is beneficial for both the cannabis and pharmaceutical industry as well as its consumers and end-users, who should feel more secure about the product that they are consuming.” — Pablo Coirolo, æternity CEO, in a press release
How does blockchain work?
Blockchain technology was introduced to the world in 2009 by an elusive group or person named Satoshi Nakamoto in a “white paper” called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” Bitcoin and other “cryptocurrencies” that have emerged over the ten years since then have created an entirely new way to store and share data.
“Blocks” are made up of encrypted data points, or transactions, created by individual users. When these “blocks” are grouped together, it is called a “blockchain.” Each transaction that makes up the blockchain is unique and is recorded on a tamper-proof viewable digital ledger, making blockchain the ultimate in data security and transparency.
Cannabis and blockchains
The focus on security and transparency makes “blockchain” technology a great fit for the cannabis industry, said Kevin McKernan, founder and CSO of Medicinal Genomics.
“We see closed garden hack-prone seed to sale tracking systems being replaced by transparent blockchain ledgers that are not a monopoly contract with a given state,” McKernan wrote in an email.
“We need to educate regulators that handing out sole-source contracts to seed to sale tracking companies is a very bad idea. This invokes very bad behavior, creates honey pots for hackers and eliminates competition and innovation. Genetic data could be included in these blockchains and seed to sale systems could be globally accessed as opposed to closed state by state cartelized databases.”
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