Technology giant IBM (NYSE: IBM) has provided some input to the government of British Columbia as it prepares its regulatory framework for the legal distribution of cannabis and its by-products in the Canadian province.
IBM explains that blockchain technology is an ideal mechanism through which the cannabis’ trip through the entire supply chain can be transparently captured – from seed to market. The company assures the BC government that this solution ensures consumer safety while “exerting regulatory control”.
Calling it “one of this decade’s technical disruptors”, IBM says that governments are beginning to understand the potential benefits and realize the rate of speed and cost effectiveness in which blockchain systems can be delivered, particularly in areas like supply chains. By having one set of books (distributed ledger), governments quickly see the benefits of greater visibility, which in turn leads to optimization, improved reconciliation, greater auditability and regulatory compliance.
The shared ledger is updated and validated in real time with each network participant. This reveals where an asset is at any point in time, who owns it and what condition or state it is in. This type of transparency would bring a new level of control to the regulators, IBM promises, as well as provide assurance to the multitude of cautious stakeholders regarding the way the management of a cannabis supply chain is rolled out.
The company concludes that blockchain technology can help the provincial government take control of sourcing, selling and pricing of products, and therefore “can reduce or eliminate black market sales completely.”