BLOCKStrain Technology Corp. (TSX.V: DNAX), a full-service software company headquartered in Vancouver, BC, Canada, has developed the first integrated blockchain platform that registers and tracks cannabis intellectual property (“IP”) from genome to sale. It is proprietary, immutable and cryptographically secure, thereby establishing a single source of truth for cannabis strains and their ownership.
With Canada set to legalize marijuana use for recreational purposes, and other jurisdictions following suit around the world, new challenges will emerge regarding the ability to provide a safe and legal inventory of a product that up until now was largely only available on the black market. Cannabis will be heavily tested and regulated by numerous regulatory bodies in Canada. The cannabis industry faces unique challenges that BLOCKStrain specifically helps it address, including:
Mandatory Testing: Through BLOCKStrain’s platform and lab-testing partners, the process is more efficient and streamlined, cutting the administrative burden in half and getting products to market faster; DNA Based Product Validation: The underlying blockchain technology creates a genetic fingerprint that identifies and validates the product electronically so any participant on the platform, including consumers, can view and track what’s happening with that product from genome to sale; Intellectual Property: Third, and perhaps most importantly, the BLOCKStrain platform protects the intellectual property of growers and breeders. This is important for the industry’s growth as products evolve and develop. If a craft grower, for example, creates a popular strain with unique characteristics, it will be able to protect its intellectual property by simply registering the strain’s genome with BLOCKStrain and locking that data into the blockchain. It will reside there forever and will be readily accessible in the event of future disputes, bringing a level of trust to the industry and ensuring licensing fees are paid to all players in the market. VERIFICATION = CERTIFICATION
BLOCKStrain’s genetics verification process is authentic and incredibly effective. User groups register by creating an account with BLOCKStrain, which starts the process. Organizations and independent growers submit seeds, flower and post-extraction product for testing to a registered and approved testing facility, which then submits test results to BLOCKStrain. Pre-existing data of genetic cannabis strains can also be submitted via BLOCKStrain verification administrators, with those results being added to the user group’s blockchain account. Submissions are entered into BLOCKStrain, and the transaction is completed and recorded.
Each time an item is tested and verified by the network, a Registration Affidavit is auto-generated and given a unique “BLOCKStrain Address” along with a traceable QR Code. Producers, patients and consumers are able to not only verify the test but can also rate the product, write reviews and share opinions. This detail is stored within BLOCKStrain and, just like the test results, cannot be tampered with or modified. Verification and certification are earned by all parties for their participation.
SAFE CONSUMER SUPPLY
BLOCKStrain demystifies the seed-to-sale process for all relevant stakeholders including producers, distributors, shippers, government agencies and consumers by creating a repository of cannabis genomes on an immutable, shared ledger. Thousands of cannabis strains exist and cultivators are breeding new strains all the time. The proliferation of cannabis strains can prove problematic for consumers since there are more than 500 known chemical compounds in a single plant. Furthermore, since several dozens of these compounds have been identified as pharmacologically active, it becomes more and more difficult for consumers to know what they are purchasing.
It is for this reason that being able to quantify the genetics, potency and equivalencies among cannabis products is crucial to the future of legalized cannabis. The difference is not so much in the name or brand attached to the cannabis, but the DNA of the plant itself. BLOCKStrain ensures product integrity, safety, regulatory compliance, product licensing and authenticity – all vital elements for the emerging cannabis industry. This technology also bolsters the process of meeting government regulatory standards by providing real-time visibility of industry operations to agencies assigned to enforce and regulate cannabis activity.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
BLOCKStrain allows for the defense of intellectual property rights for the grower with an authentic, verifiable chain of evidence embedded in the blockchain itself. Proof of ownership for a specific strain of cannabis is paramount in a multibillion dollar industry. Real life ownership disputes have already begun in the industry with legal battles underway. Unfortunately, the framework for resolving these disputes has yet to be defined and they are not likely to be resolved anytime soon.
Consumers and regulators alike want to know whether a cannabis product grown and sold at a local dispensary is safe and meets quality control standards. BLOCKStrain enhances trust of origin from genome-to-sale as cannabis flows through the supply chain, verifying critical steps in the process such as who is growing the plant, which seed is planted and where did it come from, whether pesticides were used, how much was grown, which tests are used to establish quality and potency, where the product is transported and how, and whether possession limits are meeting regulatory standards.
In summary, BLOCKStrain has developed the most comprehensive, secure and community-driven cannabis genetics archival platform for cannabis breeders and growers, large and small, to protect and release their varieties into the public domain, all while compensating and rewarding them for their contributions.
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