IBM Pitches Blockchain to British Columbia for Pot Supply Chains

IBM has provided feedback to the government of British Columbia promoting the use of blockchain technology in the legal distribution of cannabis.

AccessTimeIconNov 6, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:07 a.m. UTC

IBM is promoting the use of blockchain technology in the legal distribution of cannabis.

According to a document issued to inform to the government of British Columbia, IBM is touting the use of blockchain in order to ensure consumer safety and to include regulatory oversight in the legal distribution of cannabis "from seed to sale."

The feedback was issued as the Canadian province prepares a regulatory framework for a legalized cannabis industry. According to official statements, the province plans to make non-medical cannabis legal by July 2018.

Describing the technology's key features, including its transparency and immutability, IBM noted that blockchain would assure the health and safety of consumers through "provenance and traceability" of products throughout the cannabis supply chain, thus eliminating fraud.

The document added:

"[Blockchain's] relevance to regulating cannabis is similar to its many chain of custody applications in areas such as pharmaceutical distribution and food chains."

On a concluding note, IBM stated that blockchain could help the provincial government "take control" of product sourcing and sales, thus helping eliminate black market sales "completely."

IBM has been revealed various blockchain supply chain trials in recent months, including one with Singapore's port operator to automate the flow of documents between trading partners.

Cannabis image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.