Ryan Allway December 14th, 2018 Exclusive, News, Top News The Canadian cannabis industry is projected to reach C$22.6 billion over the coming years,... Blockchain Technology Offers a Solution to Cannabis Quality Control

Ryan Allway

December 14th, 2018

Exclusive, News, Top News


The Canadian cannabis industry is projected to reach C$22.6 billion over the coming years, according to Deloitte, following the legalization of adult-use cannabis earlier this year. While early sales have been brisk, the industry faces key challenges with safety and quality control. Many consumers still receive the wrong strains, while companies continue to struggle to meet regulatory standards and complete the associated paperwork.

BLOCKStrain Technology Corp. (TSX-V: DNAX) (OTC: BKKSF) offers a solution to both of these problems by harnessing the power of blockchain technology. With a pilot program already in place with a licensed producer, the company’s platform is poised to provide genome-to-sale reassurances to breeders, cultivators, stores, and consumers that they’re receiving what they ordered.

Quality Control Issues Persist

The cannabis industry has long struggled with quality control issues. Since Canada’s MMPR was introduced in 2013, there have been a number of recalls and sanctions on licensed producers for tainted and/or mislabeled products. Mandatory testing standards have been implemented across the country, but many medical cannabis patients still complain about receiving the wrong strain and experiencing unexpected effects.

Many medical and recreational consumers seek out specific cannabis strains, but it can be hard to differentiate a pure-bred from a mutt. In fact, some research shows that upwards of one-third of cannabis strains don’t match their advertised genetics. Many hybrid strains sold under the same name by multiple growers are also different from a genetic standpoint, which can make it nearly impossible for consumers to know what they consume.

In the United States, the lack of federal regulations means that safety and labeling concerns are even greater. Many private growers use chemicals, like rodenticide, to protect their crops, which ends up killing nearby wildlife and could make its way into consumers. Some states have introduced their own regulations, but critics point out that the higher tax rates in these areas encourage consumers to go back to the black market.

As with the Canadian market, the U.S. FDA has consistently warned CBD makers and their consumers of inaccurate labeling. Several products labeled as CBD supplements didn’t contain any CBD at all, while others did not contain the levels that they claimed to contain. These problems are likely carrying over into the wider cannabis market, especially in states where there is little in the way of testing regulations.

BLOCKStrain Offers a Solution

Bitcoin’s dramatic rise and fall popularized the concept of a blockchain, but there’s much more to the technology than cryptocurrencies. Using its immutable ledger, BLOCKStrain Technology Corp. empowers breeders to genetically test and register their strains in a DNA database and license those strains to cultivators. Cultivators can turn around and prove the authenticity of the strain and the lack of contaminants to consumers.

On October 24, BLOCKStrain and WeedMD Inc. (TSX-V: WMD), a licensed producer and distributor of medical cannabis, announced the launch of BLOCKStrain’s blockchain-powered proprietary genome tracking software following the collection and registration of an initial batch of 40 proprietary cannabis DNA samples. The move makes WeedMD the first LP that can stand behind its products in a way that’s transparent and verifiable.

“There are so many reasons why you want to identify the precise nature of the plant you’re dealing with, such as ensuring consistency for medical reasons, but also because in recreational cannabis a lot of people know what they like, and they want to make sure they’re getting that same experience every time,” said Dr. Gina Conte, a PHD in plant genetics and co-founder of testing and research lab Lighthouse Genomics in British Columbia.

She says a combination of a genetic record and the blockchain verification technology developed by Blockstrain is critical to the future of the cannabis industry. “It’s like going to the wine store and buying a high-end Pinot Noir, and then you find out later it’s a cheap Merlot. I think by adopting Blockstrain and genetic testing, WeedMD is setting the stage for a level of Quality Assurance that the cannabis industry needs to have. They are an industry leading example that the rest of the industry will both need and want to follow.”

The launch could yield a valuable proof-of-concept and model for other similar arrangements with licensed producers or other cultivators around the world. In addition, the WeedMD program launch marks the start of tangible revenue and an initial look at the compelling economics of its business model. Investors could see additional LP agreements come online in the near future as the pilot program gains steam.

Looking Ahead

BLOCKStrain Technology Corp. (TSX-V: DNAX) (OTC: BKKSF) represents a compelling investment opportunity that leverages the power of blockchain technology to solve a key problem facing the cannabis industry. With a pilot program launched earlier this month with a leading licensed producer, investors may want to keep an eye on the stock for additional agreements down the road as the company proves out its business model.

For more information, visit the company’s website or download their investor presentation.

Disclaimer

The above article is sponsored content. Emerging Growth LLC, which owns CannabisFN.com and CFN Media, has been hired to create awareness. Please follow the link below to view our full disclosure outlining our compensation: http://www.cannabisfn.com/legal-disclaimer/

Ryan Allway

About Ryan Allway

Mr. Allway has over a decade of experience in the financial markets as both a private investor and financial journalist. He has been actively involved in the cannabis industry since its inception, covering public and private companies.


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