Business 18 October 2018

Paul How

Canada Cannabis trade to be tracked by blockchain

With the recent legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada, the tracking of the industry through blockchain technology comes at just the right time.

Toronto-listed DMG Blockchain Solutions announced that it was in the process of creating a supply chain management platform specifically for the trade of cannabis, with deployment to be limited to Canada prior to global expansion.

DMG CEO Dan Reitzik said, “We want to be the first to offer an enterprise grade solution in partnership with leading technology providers and cannabis producers, processors and distributors. The first use of blockchain was Bitcoin, but the perfect use is supply chain management for controlled products such as cannabis.”

He said Canada’s push to be the global supplier of cannabis would be aided with the company’s blockchain platform, “by way of product traceability for rapid recalls, ensuring a legal source of product, enhancing product safety, as well as facilitating and automating legal and taxation compliance.”

Among the components of DMG’s supply chain management are the use of smart contracts, and mechanisms for automatic product recall when needed.

Medicinal cannabis has been available to different degrees among the country’s provinces, since 2001. Recreational use was finally implemented this week.

The legal pot industry shares a similarity with the cryptocurrency industry, in that traditional banks have been reluctant to deal with businesses involved with such products. With the placing of transactions on blockchain, growers, transporters, and dispensaries’ actions are better tracked to ensure legitimacy of the trade. This is in part the idea behind IBM’s “from seed to sale” proposal released last year, in response to British Columbia’s request for input on how to best regulate the industry.

Financial services firm Deloitte said that in Canada alone, the legal trade could make for a $23-billion market, with sales of recreational cannabis alone projected at $4.9 billion-$8.7 billion a year.

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