Green Tech Tuesday: Leapfroging Old Technology, A Switch To Innovative Solutions

With the marijuana industry growing each year as more and more states legalize, there are also concerns as how to regulate a product that is infamously secretive and under the radar. Blockchain technology has been trying to offer some answers to a lot of the questions raised, concerning how to legally sell a product that’s been illegal for so long.

One of the main ways blockchain is trying help centers around the actual purchasing of the product itself. Right now, cannabis companies in the United States are mostly cash-only, whether it be because they are under the table or there are no other reliable options. The cashless-ness nature of this industry also means that there is a lack of protection for large banks and financial industries, making them wary of jumping on the cannabis train.

This is where cryptocurrencies and the blockchain attempt to come in. Because they are decentralized and deregulated in nature, some claim that cryptocurrencies would be the form of payment for cannabis companies that don’t want to rely only on cash.

In October of this year, Canada made headlines when it legalized weed across the country. Canada is only the second country in the world, and the first G7 nation to legalize the drug; with Uruguay being the first to create a legal marijuana market in 2013. The cannabis industry is expected to be worth more than $4 billion in Canada.  

While Canada definitely made the greatest strides in terms of spreading the cannabis joy this year, the United States also made progress in legalizing the drug. There are currently ten states, and Washington D.C., that have voted to legalize marijuana. Colorado and Washington were the first to legalize the drug in 2012. Since then, California, Oregon, Nevada, Hawaii, Michigan, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Washington DC have followed suit.

Besides trying to solve the cashless-ness nature problem of the cannabis industry, blockchain offers to solve the problem of tracking the cannabis plant from production to distribution. The supply chain industry is infamous for issues when it comes to tracking the origins of certain products. From cybersecurity hacks to natural disasters, businesses are faced with significant threats when trying to keep their supply chains under control.

Blockchain technology gives us a solution to the problems in the supply chain industry, as information is permanently stored on the decentralized database, allowing companies to keep up-to-date with regulations and legislations. Specifically for the cannabis industry, blockchain might help companies monitor their products from plant to retail. 

“Blockchain and the supply of regulated cannabis is a perfect match,” adds me Raja Sharif, CEO of FarmaTrust, which uses blockchain to trace packages and pharmaceuticals, “Cannabis producers are currently setting up facilities without any legacy systems in place, which means they can leapfrog old technology and use the latest innovative solutions.”




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