In recent years, blockchain technology has emerged as a powerful tool with the potential to revolutionize various industries.
A partnership between ACS Laboratory, the largest hemp and cannabis testing facility in the eastern United States, and Blockticity, a leader in guaranteed certificates of authenticity, is a prime example of how this technology is being leveraged for innovation.
The collaboration resulted in a blockchain-based certificate of authenticity (COA) verification process for the cannabis and hemp industries, setting a new standard for transparency and security.
Blockchain technology’s impact extends far beyond this particular application, with the potential to transform certification systems across numerous industries.
Verified COAs are Critical to Consumers
The hemp, cannabis, mushroom, and Kratom industries face challenges such as supply chain transparency, quality control, and regulatory compliance. Fortunately, blockchain technology can help address these challenges.
One essential document in these industries is the Certificate of Analysis (COA), which verifies the product’s quality, safety, and potency. However, COAs can be vulnerable to fraud, tampering, or errors, which can compromise the integrity of the entire supply chain.
Blockchain technology provides a secure, transparent, and decentralized way to track COAs throughout the supply chain, from cultivation to distribution and sale. Using blockchain to track COAs has several benefits for the hemp, cannabis, mushroom, and Kratom industries.
Blockchain enables enhanced supply chain transparency, where stakeholders can track the product’s journey and verify its authenticity and quality. By tracing the product’s origin, monitoring its handling and storage conditions, and tracking its distribution and sale, blockchain enhances transparency and accountability.
Blockchain also enables real-time monitoring of the product’s quality, safety, and potency. By recording COA data on the blockchain, stakeholders can instantly access the product’s test results, facilitating informed decisions about its quality and safety.
This can also facilitate quality control measures, such as recall management and batch tracking, which help companies identify and address any issues promptly.
Moreover, blockchain enables companies to ensure regulatory compliance, meeting regulatory requirements, such as THC levels, pesticide and contaminant testing, and labeling requirements. Companies can provide regulators with real-time access to the product’s COA data, which can help them verify compliance and reduce the risk of non-compliance.
Finally, blockchain can help companies enhance consumer trust by providing transparent and verifiable information about the product’s quality, safety, and potency. By using blockchain to track COAs, companies can develop consumer-facing apps that allow consumers to scan a product’s QR code and instantly access its COA data.
COA Verification with Blockticity on the Avalanche Blockchain
The COA verification process developed by ACS Laboratory and Blockticity has numerous advantages for various stakeholders, including consumers, patients, companies purchasing raw materials, any product tracked through the supply chain, and the media.
One benefit of blockchain-based technology is enhanced transparency. The immutable nature of blockchain records enables unparalleled transparency, allowing anyone to access and verify the authenticity of COAs.
Avalanche blockchain also facilitates fraud prevention. Blockchain technology makes COAs tamper-proof, reducing the risk of falsified or manipulated data and ensuring the integrity of the information.
Further, with blockchain, all stakeholders can take advantage of streamlined verification. The automation of the COA verification process simplifies fact-checking for various stakeholders, enabling them to quickly confirm the COA’s origin and the accuracy of the data points.
Another versatile benefit of this technology is its ability to protect client rights. The partnership between ACS Laboratory and Blockticity ensures that clients’ rights are protected by authenticating COAs on the blockchain, allowing them to trust that their data is accurate, secure, and easily verifiable.
This technology could enable industry-wide standardization. As the first COA of its kind, this blockchain-based solution has the potential to set a new standard for the cannabis and hemp industries, promoting product safety, quality, and transparency for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Unlocking Blockchain’s Potential in Other Industries
Blockchain technology has immense potential to revolutionize certification systems across various industries, as demonstrated by several case studies.
For instance, Brazil’s Blockchain Birth Certificate Initiative aims to enhance birth certificate management by increasing security and efficiency through blockchain technology. Singapore’s HealthCerts focus on digital health certification, leveraging blockchain to improve verification and privacy in healthcare.
The Classification Society Certification is being applied to the shipping and marine industries. These sectors benefit from blockchain-enhanced security and efficiency in certification processes. Artwork Certificates blockchain-based provenance tracking can increase transparency and trust in the art market.
Also, Educational Certificates streamline the verification process, improving access to opportunities for students and professionals. Lastly, Renewable Energy Certificates enable more efficient and transparent management of energy certificates.
Benefits of Blockchain Certification Systems
Blockchain certification systems offer numerous advantages across technical, individual, organizational, and societal levels. As far as technical benefits, Blockchain technology provides improved security, tamper-proof data storage, and streamlined data management.
When analyzing individual benefits, take into consideration that users can enjoy enhanced privacy, reduced risk of identity theft, and increased control over personal information. Organizational benefits are multi-tiered.
Companies often report cost savings, reduced bureaucracy, and improved trust and reputation. At the societal level, blockchain technology can promote greater transparency, increased trust in institutions, and the adoption of sustainable practices.
ASTM International: Setting Standards for Authenticating COAs on the Blockchain
This author is the subcommittee Chair for D37.05 Security and Transportation with ASTM International. As an international standards organization, ASTM has a long history of developing and publishing voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services.
With over 12,575 ASTM voluntary consensus standards operating globally, the organization is well-positioned to create a worldwide standard for authenticating COAs on the blockchain.
By working with ASTM, companies in various industries have a reliable and standardized way to verify the authenticity of COAs, regardless of their location or the type of product they produce.
This reduces the risk of fraud and errors, increases trust and transparency in the supply chain, and saves time and money by streamlining the authentication process. ASTM is currently developing a worldwide standard to authenticate COAs using blockchain architecture in the solution.
The collaboration between ACS Laboratory and Blockticity represents a significant milestone in leveraging blockchain technology for the cannabis and hemp industries.
By minting COAs on the Avalanche blockchain, this innovative solution ensures transparency, security, and trust in lab results.
Mike Coner, an advisor for ACS Laboratory and founder of Blockticity and Automatic Slims Metaverse Marketplace, has built a career leveraging a unique combination of hospitality, entrepreneurship, and technology. Whether he’s creating a chain of high-volume Rock N Roll Bars, founding a cannabis compliance software system, or architecting the first Blockchain platform to verify cannabis Certificates of Authenticity (COAs) in the Metaverse — Coner is constantly innovating.
This article first appeared in Volume 5 Issue 1 of Cannabis & Tech Today. Read the full issue here.