Current social trends suggest that in the near future, cannabis will once again become legal and tradeable in almost all parts of the world, as it had been for most of human history until the 20th century. With the decriminalization of its consumption, authorities must now consider ways to regulate it. The possibility of using blockchain and cryptocurrency to record the sale and distribution of cannabis has emerged as a strong candidate due to its security and transparency.
What is Blockchain?
In simple terms, Blockchain is a system for recording transactions. Unlike a regular banking record, which is unique and exists in a single institution or location, the blockchain consists of many copies of the same record. These identical copies are stored on multiple computers worldwide and are updated simultaneously with each transaction. This makes altering or attacking the record nearly impossible, as all existing records would need to be attacked simultaneously.
In addition to the added security advantage, blockchain is not managed by any centralized entity. This means there is no bank or government that has direct access to the record and can manipulate it, freeze transactions, or control users' funds. Users can view all the transactions that have ever occurred in the history of the blockchain, but no one can alter them, making it a transparent and secure system.
Cannabis should be a highly regulated product, and traceability (the ability to trace a product back to its origin) is a fundamental requirement in many legal markets. Blockchain technology enables the creation of an immutable and transparent record of each stage in the production and distribution process of cannabis, from seed planting to final consumer sale. Each transaction, such as cultivation, harvesting, processing, and sale, can be recorded in a data block on the blockchain, providing a complete and verifiable history of each batch of cannabis. This is particularly important to ensure the quality and safety of products, as well as to prevent the black market and underage access.
Product Authenticity and Quality
Blockchain can also be used to guarantee the authenticity and quality of cannabis products. By using unique labels or codes on cannabis products, consumers can trace the product's origin, know its exact content of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds, as well as verify its authenticity and absence of unwanted contaminants. This provides consumers with confidence in the products they are purchasing and consuming, while enabling regulators to conduct audits and enforce existing regulations.
The cannabis industry has faced financial challenges due to a lack of access to traditional banking services. This is where blockchain-based cryptocurrencies can play an important role. By utilizing cryptocurrencies, financial transactions within the cannabis industry can be conducted securely and efficiently, bypassing the restrictions and issues associated with traditional banking services. Cryptocurrencies also enable faster and more transparent transactions, as well as the elimination of additional intermediaries.
The world of cannabis and blockchain technology has been experiencing significant growth in recent years. Soon, cities like our Barcelona will become true hubs of innovation in this field. Barcelona has long been recognized for its progressive approach to cannabis and praised for the quality of its herb and its cannabis associations and weed clubs.
While Spain and Catalonia currently do not allow the legal commercialization of cannabis, and for now, we are only permitted to cultivate and consume our own cannabis in our homes or in cannabis clubs, it may be a matter of time for laws to continue evolving and pave the way for a fully legal and transparent market.