Shoppers Drug Mart, a Canadian retail pharmacy chain based in Toronto, is collaborating with blockchain firm TruTrace Technologies to pilot a blockchain-secured traceability program for medical cannabis.
Shoppers Drug Mart, one of the most recognized names in Canadian retailing, offers over-the-counter medications, health and beauty aids, cosmetics and fragrances, everyday household needs, and seasonal products. The company has more than 1,300 stores in nine provinces and two territories.
TruTrace Technologies claims to have developed the first integrated blockchain platform to register and track intellectual property in the cannabis industry. Their technology allows cannabis growers and breeders to identify and secure rights to their intellectual property. It also streamlines the administrative process and reduces the costs of mandatory genetic quality control testing for legal cannabis. The technology is proprietary, immutable, and cryptographically secure, thereby establishing an accurate and permanent account for cannabis strains from ownership to market.
The two companies are conducting a pilot program intended to increase transparency, interoperability and product identification within the medical cannabis industry. The program is utilizing TruTrace’s StrainSecure technology as a central hub for identity management, asset tracking, validation, and product authentication. The technology serves as a master registry for standardized testing, product verification, and quality assurance. Phase 1 of the pilot program is expected to be completed by July 31, with full production and implementation targeted for late November.
Ken Weisbrod, Vice President, Shoppers Drug Mart, said that they’ve gone to great lengths over the past six years to fully understand the challenges and opportunities that exist within the medical cannabis industry and taken steps to apply similar principles from traditional medicine to this new industry.
“The source of medical cannabis must be traceable and accountable for patients and practitioners to feel confident about it as a treatment,” said Weisbrod. “When a patient takes medication, there is an expectation that it is standardized, and they can expect consistent clinical outcomes and results. Although that’s not always a guarantee within the medical cannabis industry at the moment, we’re hoping this new program can help change that.”
TruTrace Technologies CEO Robert Galarza said that the pilot program is a significant milestone that brings their technology together with one of the most trusted brands in Canada.
“We believe it is a testament to our technology’s ability to bring transparency and integrity to the cannabis industry and our shared mission,” Galarza said. “This initiative should help researchers and clinicians to match therapeutic outcomes to specific genetic and chemical profiles, and provide physicians, pharmacists, and patients with greater confidence in the products they prescribe or consume.”
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