IBM: Blockchain can track pot from 'seed to sale'

November 09, 2017 //By Rich Pell
IBM (Armonk, NY) has suggested to officials in Canada that they consider using blockchain as a supply-management tool for the soon-to-be legalized cannabis industry.

The company submitted a proposal to the government of British Columbia describing how the blockchain digital ledger technology could be used to track pot "from seed to sale." This was in response to a request for public feedback from the Western Canadian province ahead of the planned national legalization of recreational pot, currently set for July.

Blockchain, said IBM, is an "an ideal mechanism" that the province could use to help take control of sourcing, selling, and pricing of products, while also allowing producers to track inventory, supply and demand projections, and consumption trends. As the shared ledger is updated and validated in real time with each network participant, it reveals exactly where a product is at any point in time.

"This type of transparency would bring a new level of visibility and control to the provincial regulators," said IBM.

IBM has been promoting blockchain as a world leading technology "enabling the assured exchange of value in both digital and tangible assets, while protecting privacy and eliminating fraud." Regulating cannabis, the company says, is similar to its many chain-of- custody applications in other areas, like pharmaceutical distribution and food chains.

IBM Blockchain

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