Canada: Pharmacy Firm to Track Medical Cannabis on Blockchain
According to a Bloomberg report published on June 17, 2019, Canadian pharmacy chain Shoppers Drug Mart has inked a business deal with distributed ledger technology (DLT) startup TruTrace Technologies to launch a pilot program to track the supply chain of medical cannabis.
Tracking Cannabis from Seed to Smoke
In a bid to ensure the quality of medical cannabis’ strain’s source and genetics, Shoppers Drug Mart and TruTrace are jointly launching a blockchain-based platform that would track the medicinal plant’s logistical whereabouts right from its source to its point of consumption.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Ken Weisbrod, the vice-president of business development at Shoppers Drug said that DLT can provide the much-required assurance to doctors and pharmacists with regard to the quality of medical cannabis. He stated that the source of cannabis must be traceable for patients and doctors to feel confident about its authenticity for medicinal use.
Weisbrod added that as a pharmacist, he would ideally want to be able to scan a bottle of medical cannabis and get full information on the product.
“I want a genetic confirmation of the same product, month over month, harvest over harvest. I’m in a good place there because I have consistent medicine,” opined Weisbrod.
Commenting on the urgency of such a measure, Weisbrod highlighted that about 6,000 to 7,000 clinicians in Canada prescribe marijuana to patients on a regular basis, adding that its use will only skyrocket in coming time.
The proposed pilot program is expected to be complete by July 31, 2019, with full implementation targeted for late November, the report reads.
Robert Galarza, CEO, TruTrace Technologies dubbed the partnership a “significant milestone” for the tech startup, saying:
“This initiative should help researchers and clinicians to match therapeutic outcomes to specific genetic and chemical profiles, and provide physicians, pharmacists, and patients with greater confidence in the products they prescribe or consume.”
Crypto and Cannabis
Although both cannabis and blockchain technology have had a relatively short history as industries, their impact on the global marketplace cannot be understated.
Already legalized for medical use in 29 states in the U.S., cannabis are looking primed to disrupt the pharmaceutical industry which has for long been dominated by a select few monopolistic companies.
Similarly, DLT and its most famous product to date – bitcoin – are also battling it out with banking giants to give to masses the power to control own money.
As previously reported by BTCManager, both the industries experienced a strong boom period in 2018 giving their investors healthy returns.