Canada is planning to begin legalizing the sale of cannabis by July of next year. The regulation of distribution is to be handled at the province level, like with cigarettes and alcohol. As a result, the government of British Columbia was open to suggestions on how to regulate their cannabis sales.
That’s when IBM suggested bitcoin’s technology could help regulate marijuana sales for the British Columbian government.
IBM was also at the forefront of Walmart’s experimental blockchain. Walmart has been using a Blockchain to track how pigs from China are moved through the supply chain before reaching consumers. The hope is that the data will help companies track and reduce food spoilage to reduce disease outbreaks.
The tech company’s four-page submission to the British Columbia government plans to track cannabis sales as they move from seed to farm to distributor to consumer.
IBM submission said Blockchain’s “relevance to regulating cannabis is similar to its many chain of custody applications in areas such as pharmaceutical distribution and food chains. The core to those supply chains is the same, assuring health and safety of consumers, preventing fraud and counterfeiting while creating a foundation of transparency upon which to base regulation.”
With all transactions accounted for, the blockchain could help make sure no cannabis ends up in the hands of any minors. It could also ensure all taxes are collected, preventing any side sales to the black market.
Consumers would benefit from the knowledge of where their product originated from. In places with legal cannabis that lack regulations, companies are free to make claims that are untrue.
Final Hit: Bitcoin’s Technology Could Help Regulate Marijuana Sales
According to IBM, bitcoin’s technology could help regulate marijuana sales in British Columbia. That’s bad news for the black market but great news for anyone who wants to know the details of how their weed came to be.
“This type of transparency would bring a new level of visibility and control to the provincial regulators and provide assurance to the multitude of cautious stakeholders regarding the way the management of a cannabis supply chain is rolled out within British Columbia,” IBM said.
Will the B.C. government be the first to use IBM’s blockchain idea to track cannabis sales made in the province? We’ll know by July 2018, which is when the Canadian government plans to legalize cannabis sales.