As the CDC looks into the cause behind hundreds of possible cases of vaping-related illnesses in 36 states, people are (rightly) thinking twice about vaping. While the Trump administration has moved to ban flavored e-cigs in the wake of the outbreak, it’s unclear whether the rash of illnesses and deaths are due to vaping itself, which the FDA has scarcely regulated so far, or if the CBD, THC, or nicotine product that was vaped was counterfeit or tampered with in some way.
One cannabis company is not waiting around to find out. Akerna, the first tech-meets-THC company to be traded on the Nasdaq, announced today an exclusive partnership with Solo Sciences Inc., developer of the world’s first cryptographically secure cannabis product-authentication system. The collaboration is meant to provide legal weed dealers and customers with an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability that will drive product safety and consumer protection from counterfeit products.
MJ Platform, which is Akerna’s seed-to-sale tracking system, monitors all interactions with the plant or product from cultivation to sales. Solo Sciences can put a unique fingerprint into each product’s packaging that can be scanned via a free mobile app. It will validate product authenticity and provide accurate information about the product’s life cycle.
“Cannabis product tracking down to the gram level provides built-in transparency into the growing, processing, distribution and selling of cannabis products,” said Jessica Billingsley, Akerna’s CEO. “The integration of [this] elevated tagging technology provides the first robust method for communicating everything we know about cannabis through our tracking—ingredients, nutrients, additives and more—to the consumer.”
As concerns about vaping grow, and the legal weed market continues to expand, customers will want this level of security, transparency, traceability, and validation from sellers. Soon making sure weed is real and safe could be as big of a business as marijuana itself.