IBM suggests blockchain for tracking Canadian marijuana

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Tech titan IBM is pitching blockchain technology as a supply-management tool for British Columbia’s recreational and medical cannabis industry, a possible sign that Big Blue is eyeing Canada as a way to enter the marijuana sector.

IBM submitted a paper to British Columbia after the government requested suggestions for its forthcoming marijuana legislation.

The Armonk, New York-based company argued that the digital ledger offered by blockchain technology would allow regulators to track MJ from seed to sale, Bloomberg reported.

The Canadian Press noted that IBM has invested a large sum in blockchain technology, which Atonomous Research describes as “a database or ledger that maintains a continuously growing list of data records or transactions.”

IBM is not known to have any marijuana-related business interests.

The Canadian government is legalizing marijuana for recreational use starting next summer, and provinces are responsible for coming up with a regulatory framework involving taxation, distribution and retail.

Establishing and maintaining a national tracking system will be the responsibility the federal government.

IBM said: “Blockchain is an ideal mechanism in which BC can transparently capture the history of cannabis through the entire supply chain, ultimately ensuring consumer safety while exerting regulatory control – from seed to sale,” according to Bloomberg.

British Columbia’s government aims to pass legislation next spring regulating recreational marijuana.

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