The use of blockchain technology in intellectual property rights management is a well-known application. There are plenty of startups and established companies working on creating platforms for patents and copyrights management using distributed ledger technology. While the cryptocurrency platforms anticipated the music and film industry to be their leading customer, marijuana growers in the United States have proved it wrong.
In a growing trend, more and more marijuana growers from across the United States are now rushing to get their strain of Mary Jane registered on the blockchain. Making it possible for growers from across 25 marijuana legal states in the United States is Medicinal Genomics. The company based out of Massachusetts is a molecular biology and genomics lab involved in the creation of a repository of cannabis genomes. After conducting DNA analysis, the genome information is recorded on the Bitcoin blockchain. In addition to the creation of cannabis genomic repository, Medicinal Genomics also tests marijuana plants to find their cannabinoid content and any microbial contamination to ensure compliance with existing regulations.
Along with quality control, the Marijuana strain registry being created by Medicinal Genomics also helps standardize the industry. In order to get their strain tested, marijuana growers can order a DNA purification kit from the company and follow the instructions to extract and purify plant DNA. The extracted DNA can then be sent to any of the 15 Medicinal Genomics partner labs located in Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Upon receipt, the genome will be sequenced and compared with reference sequences for strain classification. Any deviations from reference strain will be recorded for differentiation purposes.
The analysis report for each sample is converted into a cryptographic hash and added to the Bitcoin blockchain. Once on the blockchain, the reference hash will be timestamped and stored indefinitely on it. The record can be readily accessed by those in possession of the hash key.
With people increasingly trying to patent their strain of marijuana, the immutable database comes in handy for verification and dispute resolution.
Marijuana growers across the country interested in creating their own strain and brand are flocking Medicinal Genomics to get their plant samples sequenced and analyzed. With more states expected to legalize marijuana, Medicinal Genomics and its blockchain database has a huge potential for growth.
Ref: VICE | Image: NewsBTC