Is it possible to put cannabis on the blockchain?
With one company, that’s exactly what’s taking place. Motherboard reports that Medicinal Genomics is creating a registered list of all cannabis genomes to be stored on the bitcoin blockchain. The purpose is to take any confusion out of marijuana purchases; MG wants to make sure every customer receives the strain they’ve set out to purchase, as each type can have varying effects on patients.
“The Bitcoin blockchain has been going since 2009, and its security is in its proof of work,” says CSO of MG Kevin McKernan. “If, for any reason, we ever got shut down, all the people in the community that have the sequence files we gave them could recreate our database. I think that’s important for the cannabis field. If we ever want to figure out the mitochondrial Eve of cannabis, it can’t exist in a centralized database under one company’s control.”
Since the days of legalizing marijuana first hit newsstands, it seems bitcoin and cannabis have been a match made in heaven. Adoption of the digital currency has grown in size and scope over the last year and half among marijuana dispensaries, and some companies have even found new ways of delivering medical marijuana by drones, ensuring customers get what they need when they need it.
The first patent on a medical marijuana strain was filed in 2015, and MG has been cooking up its idea ever since. Growers buy purification kits for their plants, then ship them to the company so executives can complete a sequencing process. Once that’s finished, MG compares it to a separate “reference strain” to make sure it’s original. The test done and its individuality confirmed, the strain is then added to the registry, while the grower basks in the glory of creating an original strain.
The entire process costs about $600.