With more and more states in the US and countries around the world legalizing the cannabis industry, the segment is witnessing a new wave of growth and expansion. The recreation of marijuana is attracting many big players and according to one recent research estimate, the industry is going to acquire a humongous size of $21 billion by the end of 2021.
Regulatory Framework and Industry Realities
Because cannabis is utilized in treating a number of neurological disorders, the kind of public attention and legislative scrutiny companies have to face is quite hard. This has somewhat contributed to the high level of uncertainty that the industry continues to face. Now in order to reduce this turbulence, cannabis companies are looking for new technological innovations and this is exactly where the relevance of blockchain comes into the picture.
Blockchain Technology, as we all know, is a distributed ledger system that ensures that data is distributed in a decentralized manner. It is tamper-proof technology and it’s virtually impossible to change the data without the consent of all the participating nodes in the network. Just like any other supply chain, blockchain can be applied to ensure the quality, effectiveness, and legitimacy of the drugs containing cannabis. The application of blockchain can specifically allay concerns related to the source of cannabis, cultivation of cannabis, parties involved in the supply chain of the cannabis, and whether due procedures have been followed while selling the marijuana in the market. All these issues are very pertinent and given the strict legislation around cannabis, it makes a lot of sense for companies to start using blockchain technology. Specifically, the following are the ways in which the integration of blockchain can help all the stakeholders involved in the production and selling of Cannabis, including its customers.
- Payment Through Cryptocurrency: Despite having relaxed legislations related to sales of cannabis, most of the banks are hesitant to process the payment of the industry players. There is nothing illegal, but still, clouds of doubts continue to eclipse the relationship between bankers and companies. The application of blockchain can certainly help in this regard as the option of payment through cryptocurrency will become a viable alternative. Companies and customers can transact using digital coins and this not only will reduce their transactional costs but also help them to steer clear of any unnecessary time lag in the processing of payments.
- Assurance of Quality: Each block of information in Blockchain has a unique timestamp and particular information. The data is immutable and cannot be altered by any means. This signifies that the information contained in the blockchain is absolutely correct, which, in turn, can have a positive impact on the trust factor of the customers. Blockchain can be utilized in order to provide complete information about cannabis, right from its cultivation, production, cropping, processing, supply, and its subsequent delivery. The record on Blockchain can be used to convince buyers of genuineness and helps customers to make their decision to buy.
- Limiting the Abuse: In order to stop the abuse of cannabis, the application of blockchain technology can be of immense help. Blockchain can be used in order to track and monitor the sales of cannabis for personal use. This tracking will help to find a middle ground for the use of cannabis and its potential overuse.
Use cases of Blockchain in Cannabis
We already have a number of applications of blockchain in the marijuana industry. Take, for instance, the CannaSOS. The company has been established as a social network to provide comprehensive information about cannabis, its applications, uses, benefits, and more importantly, the effective ways to use it without being at the risk of overdose. Budbo, another blockchain startup, is aiming to emerge as a one-stop solution for all needs and queries related to cannabis. The company offers a smart-mobile phone interface that can share all the information with seekers about cannabis products and the nearby dispensaries or health care centers having stock of the particular cannabis product.
The emphasis of Bitcanna, on the other hand, is to provide the facility of decentralized payments for the cannabis transactions. The company focusing on the supply chain aspect of cannabis is DMG Blockchain. Thanks to its extensive network and blockchain expertise, DMG Blockchain is providing coherent and seamless distribution information that is shared across all the important stakeholders involved in the cannabis market.
The aspect of quality assurance in the cannabis market is most important and it is quite ably taken care of by the StrainSecure. The blockchain company is providing world-class services on different aspects of quality assurance of cannabis and its seed to sale tracking model is really finding favor with all major players in the industry. Paragon is also a popular name in the blockchain-based startup industry and is working along similar lines to provide a customized solution to stakeholders in the cannabis industry.
WebJoint has championed the cause of brands and retailers and this blockchain company offers software to help the cannabis industry grow in a legally compliant manner. We also have the support for cannabis purchase through cryptocurrencies and for that, one can utilize the services of Growers International. The company is offering software that can be used in order to purchase cannabis using a range of digital coins.
The application of blockchain technology in the cannabis industry is still in its infancy. The growth potential is enormous and given the fact that the segment is growing rapidly, we are expected to witness a number of new blockchain platforms to foray into the industry. The only requirement for the blockchain-based startups to have a sustainable future is to keep their focus intact on rightly identifying, communicating, and serving the customer needs in an effective and efficient manner.