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The Next Big Thing for Cannabis: Strain Registration and Certification

Featured Submission, Featured Submission
0 Comments| November 14, 2018

Cannabis is now legal from Yukon Territory to Nova Scotia. And, in the United States, 10 states now have legalized recreational adult use and roughly two-thirds of the country has a functional medical marijuana program. Despite this good news, significant work needs to be done to correct some of the biggest gaps in the regulatory system: strain registration, verification and certification.
Now, more than ever, Licensed Producers must protect their intellectual property and build consumer trust. If all the hard work creating unique proprietary strains is not registered and certified, it could be easily co-opted or stolen from competitor or illicit back-channel thieves.
Enter the BLOCKStrain Solution
BLOCKStrain was conceived, developed and designed to ensure the entire cannabis ecosystem – from the genomic scientists’ laboratory to the retail store shelf – operates in a fair and transparent way. If a Licensed Producer spends years to develop a one-of-a-kind strain, it can easily and seamlessly register, verify and certify the product. And the consumer will benefit knowing exactly what he or she is buying at every purchase.
The time is now to begin the registry process if you want to protect your R&D investments. According to some economic forecasts, the global cannabis industry is projected to be worth roughly $200 billion (yes, with a B) by 2025.
“Companies that secure their intellectual property early will clearly have a distinct competitive advantage,” said BLOCKStrain CEO Robert Galarza. “Not only will the Licensed Producers provide transparency for their customers, they will be able to register the genetic makeup of their product.”
Last month, WeedMD, one of Canada’s premier cannabis brands, employed the BLOCKStrain platform, becoming the first LP to receive Strain Vault status. With BLOCKStrain’s immutable verification technology, WeedMD has officially certified its intellectual property – including the genomics of its Pedro’s Sweet Sativa, one of the most coveted strains in Canada.
“This is significant for our industry and our discerning consumers/customers that expect consistent products be delivered. We are proud to be the first company in Canada that can stand behind its products in a way that is transparent and verifiable,” said WeedMD CEO Keith Merker. “We can now confirm instantly through BLOCKStrain’s technology that our products are authentic and that customers are receiving high quality strains developed by WeedMD, verified as tested for quality and purity.”
Regulators Slow to Keep Up with Technological Advances 
Unfortunately, governmental agencies and regulators have been slow to develop protocols to protect your investment. The focus has been on consumer health, which is understandable as the nascent industry develops. But since its inception, BLOCKStrain has been collaborating with Canadian regulatory bodies and major retail outlets to help create the industry standard. BLOCKStrain took a strong leadership position in this area because our overarching goal is to bring the cannabis industry out of the shadows and into the light.
Recently, there has been increased media attention focusing on the intellectual property issue. According to IP Watchdog, a leading resource for intellectual property issues:
“For the innovators capitalizing on this green movement, the procurement of intellectual property rights can go a long way in the monetization of their cannabis-related ideas, products, and services. As with any new venture, solidifying an IP protection strategy early on can maximize the benefits of a new invention and minimize risk the of potential infringement. This rings especially true in a field where so few patents, copyrights, and trademarks have been issued.”
And the Financial Post reported  that “Canadian cannabis companies are rushing to beef up their research teams, hiring scientists, geneticists, hemp researchers and molecular biologists, and, more importantly, enlisting the expertise of patent lawyers since the companies that can clinch and lock in lucrative intellectual property will undoubtedly have an edge, especially in an industry as young and commoditized as cannabis is.”
BLOCKStrain’s Investment in Genomics
Last month, BLOCKStrain joined forces with Lighthouse Genomics, a leading authority on cannabis genetics, to ensure that all cannabis products can be trace back to their genome through BLOCKStrain’s comprehensive and immutable data platform. 
Dr. Gina Conte, Chief Science Officer for Lighthouse Genomics, is conducting research to assist BLOCKStrain partners.
“Cannabis interacts with humans in an incredibly complex way. We are at the forefront of discovering what drives these interactions and genomics is the most powerful tool we have. By cataloging the genetic diversity, we will propel cannabis science and industry toward this goal,” Conte says.
Next Step: Register Now or Fall Behind Your Competition
Let’s be clear: Although the legal cannabis industry is still in its infancy, the illicit market has been with us for generations. But unlike the legal marketplace, illicit players did not have to play by any rules or regulations. Growers and sellers were not duty bound to be honest with its consumers. In fact, it was in their best interest to be vague and mysterious.
Those days are over. For those who are building a legitimate, legal and long-term enterprise, transparency is a requirement. Let BLOCKStrain’s plug-and-play platform help you thrive in this new economic environment.
BLOCKStrain invites MJBizCon attendees to visit the BLOCKStrain Suite at the Encore Hotel from 3 p.m. on Nov. 13 to 11 a.m. Nov. 16. This is a private event and space is limited, so please register here. Or request a demo at the BLOCKStrain website.

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