Blockchain for Tracking and Validating Medical Cannabis

Podcast, Videos


Robert Galarza, CEO of TruTrace Technologies Inc., joined me and shared his insights on the use of blockchain technology for verifying medical cannabis products and protecting intellectual property. He also shared his leadership tips and predictions for the future of the medical cannabis industry in the US, Canada, and internationally, plus much more.

Here is a sneak peek of our conversation:

Q: How does blockchain affect or impact how prescribers are dealing with this and in providing this as a potential solution to some of their patients?

A: It does boil down to that data integrity. One of the challenges that we’ve been dealing with from the cannabis industry, both in the United States and Canada has been the concept of lab shopping which is where “I’ve got a particular product that I’ve propagated and cultivated, I have a batch that’s associated to it.” In certain jurisdictions, there are batch size limits. In some jurisdictions, there are not batch size limits. There are no standards across the board, which makes it challenging in terms of knowing exactly what sample represents what amount of product.

When you send that into testing, oftentimes if you don’t like the results, you can go test with somebody else. At the end of the day, the end buyer, the consumer, the customer, and even the B2B customer oftentimes doesn’t have visibility of the tests that happened prior to the final test output. Now, the difficulty with that is that number one, that’s not really what we classify as good manufacturing practices in the more traditional, natural health product space. But the other side of it too is that tracking the data associated to even historicals allows you to better understand what might be changing about that plant which could be affecting the efficacy, which is more of a medical term, or the experience, on the recreational side for the customer.

That’s really the areas we look at from a medical perspective. If we’re tracking all the records associated historically as well, having access to the information and create some really great audit trail – for us, it’s called a digital audit trail – and be able to manage the information. The key for us to then be able to feed that information into third-party systems such as an EMR platform or E-commerce platform for pharmacies such as Shoppers Drug Mart and then they can take that data and then build a patient portal to build a profile of patients and get the patient feedback. That’s the feedback loop that we’re trying to get with the real-world evidence trials is if we can track the information on the product and they can track the information on the patient and hopefully we can build another storyline connecting the two together.

For more of our discussion, you can watch the whole Fireside Chat with Robert Galarza, or listen to the podcast version, below.

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