Published on May 5th, 2019 | by Bibhuranjan0
Intersection of blockchain and cannabis, Toronto’s Mark Attanasio, others explain what’s on the horizon
technology, a digital ledger system in which a record of transactions is maintained across a decentralized network, is being put to use in a range of industries today.
What’s interesting to note is how this technology is – and will be – influencing the burgeoning and increasingly legalized cannabis industry.
CEO Ian Forester of VR Playhouse acknowledges that blockchain technology will play a major role in shaping the future of legal cannabis.
“Its medical, industrial and social benefits can be radically democratized through blockchain business solutions that ease the friction currently faced by this emerging industry,” says Forester.
On the medical cannabis front, outside of democratizing access to product, another pressing issue facing the industry will be ensuring that the new combinations of cannabinoids and their delivery methods are safe and effective for thousands of patients fighting diseases.
By 2025, the global market for clinical trials is expected to hit $65.2 billion and the global medical cannabis market could reach $31.4 billion.
As new products are developed and hit the market, clinicians will become tasked with the process of making sure they are ready for public use. Right now, researchers are presented with several data issues, like data provenance, data sharing, patient enrollment and personal data privacy.
Again, blockchain technology can be implemented to address these issues, with ledgers used to increase the security, shareability, and integrity of data, thus increasing the proficiency of clinical studies.
The good news is that companies are already addressing how to apply blockchain technology to the cannabis industry in effective ways. For example, GCAC – creator of Citizen Green – has developed a platform that leverages AI and blockchain to improve patient health and seed-to-sale solutions.
Matthew King, CEO and founder of Royal Cannabis Advisors, sums it up best, “Both cannabis and blockchain hold the promise of catalyzing disruptive transformation in our physical and financial well-being. The opportunity we have in our lifetimes is to leverage these technologies to radically re-envision society and make the world a better place for everyone.”
As a venture capitalist, Mark Attanasio of Toronto-based Hillcrest Merchant Partners realizes the importance of helping start-ups develop new ways to use blockchain technology.
“For start-ups and entrepreneurs, blockchain and cryptocurrency are two of the most unique technologies around to explore, and an increasing number of VC firms are playing a role in that,” says Attanasio.
Cryptocurrency technology allows for secure, cashless and fast payments, and they could become a feasible form of payment for cannabis companies. Presently, lack of access to banking, costly seed-to-sale tracking software and issues with supply chain are preventing seamless transactions for cannabis operations.
“Many of these transaction problems can be controlled by implementing blockchain solutions,” Attanasio explains further. “From an investor standpoint, we tend to get excited when a startup comes to us with new, innovative ideas on how to disrupt the market with technology in the cannabis space.”
One thing remains certain, the future of the cannabis industry lies in the hands of innovators, with blockchain technology leading the charge.