The Tech Revolutionizing the Billion Dollar Marijuana Business

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A billion-dollar industry has sprung up virtually overnight. Cannabis has gone from taboo to big business, and most of it is happening in Canada, a country with 35 million people and big, green ambitions. “Cannabusiness” is growing at an astounding rate. Mentioned in today’s commentary includes: Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE: IIRP), AbbVie Inc (NYSE: ABBV), Zynerba Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ZYNE), Insys Therapeutics (NASDAQ: INSY), Compass Diversified Holdings (NYSE: CODI).

Today’s cutting-edge technology has a big role to play in managing this new “Green Revolution.” One company is entering the world of marijuana technology and faces little competition.

BLOCKStrain (DNAX ) is a full-service software company which has developed the world’s first integrated platform that tracks and registers cannabis intellectual property (IP) “from genome to sale.”

The company’s software utilizes blockchain technology, and is proprietary, immutable and cryptographically secure from external tampering: a completely safe repository for IP and a “single source of truth for cannabis strains and their ownership.” It’s the “smart hub” for cannabis, bringing cutting-edge tech to one of the hottest industries of 2018.

BLOCKStrain is the first to the field in tracking and verifying cannabis products, bringing transparency, trust and safety to an industry which for decades operated mostly on the black market. And with Canadian legalization only weeks away, the company seems to be poised to dominate a growing market, one with global sales expected to reach $63 billion by 2024.

Here are 5 reasons to keep a close eye on BLOCKStrain (DNAX)

1) A Soon To Be $63 Billion Industry

Canada is on the verge of a historic milestone, becoming the first G7 country to make cannabis fully legal. The number of licensed producers (LPs) has shot through the roof as growers try to position themselves to meet increased demand.

Canada’s cannabis exports increased by 400 percent in 2017. The nation’s marijuana market is set to grow to more than $20 billion once legalization goes through. In May, the industry had its first billion-dollar buyout.

As the first developed country to embrace full marijuana legalization, Canada is about to become the pot capital of the world. But with so many growers crowding the market, tracking and verifying product strains poses a big challenge. Patent protection for marijuana strains is a historic trouble spot for the industry: it can be difficult to find adequate legal protections for products, and thieves can duplicate strains and rip off IP with ease.

Finally, with so many unprotected strains out there, ensuring quality control and bringing transparency to the market is absolutely necessary. Without effective quality assurance, strains might not perform as advertised, with potentially harmful consequences.

Supply chain management for cannabis could be a huge opportunity, one which has gone relatively under-appreciated in the cannabis stock boom of 2017-2018. The global cannabis market is projected to be $63 billion by 2024, and could overtake cigarette sales, currently $77 billion. And that’s where BLOCKStrain (DNAX) comes in. It’s first to the field in supply chain management and will be the first company to apply proprietary software and blockchain technology to the marijuana market.

2) First to Market in Canada

On the verge of legalization, the Canadian government is making moves to ensure the new recreational pot market is regulated, to protect growers, distributors and consumers. But right now, there’s only one company positioned to verify and track pot sales nationwide-BLOCKStrain (DNAX).

The company faces little competition and will have huge scope to dominate the Canadian domestic recreational pot market, estimated to reach $8.7 billion in sales by 2024. And with legalization on the horizon, the Canadian government has indicated its determination to “strictly regulate” the cannabis space. That presents wide opportunities for companies like BLOCKStrain.

The company has already signed deals with WeedMD Inc., a licensed producer (LP) under Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). This includes the integration of BLOCKStrain’s blockchain-based secure platform into a member of the federal LP system.

WeedMD has invested $500,000 in BLOCKStrain’s platform and will receive a board seat, making it the first LP to integrate blockchain into its ecosystem. And this is just the beginning. There are over 100 LPs in Canada, with more going on-line every month. BLOCKStrain offers the only blockchain enabled method for verifying and tracking sales, protecting product from fraud and ensuring quality control.

3) Tech to the Rescue

What makes BLOCKStrain (DNAX) so special? The key is in the name: this is the first company to bring blockchain technology to the marijuana supply chain.

Blockchain technology has taken the world by storm: one of the hottest buzz-words in tech last year, blockchain acts as a digital ledger for transactions. It cuts through third-party obstructions and delivers super-fast, reliable accounting for colossal amounts of data.

Bitcoin may have been flash-in-the-pan, but blockchain could potentially transform whole industries. Now, BLOCKStrain has adapted it for the cannabis space. They aim to use the blockchain to validate and verify products, providing security for licensed producers and transparency for users.

Driven by innovative leadership, BLOCKStrain has developed a “clean, immutable, legal and transparent distribution network of product between producers and consumers” – the first time that full transparency and security has been brought to the marijuana space. And the great thing about the blockchain is that it’s easily exportable – from Canada, BLOCKStrain could bring its tech to cannabis markets all over the world, embracing the global pot industry.

And who says they should stop with pot? There are trillion-dollar industries out there in need of verification services, presenting even greater opportunities for BLOCKStrain’s proprietary platform.

4) From Here to Millions

The global pot industry could exceed $63 billion in legal sales by 2024 and right now, BLOCKStrain (DNAX) is one of the only companies out there providing verification and transparency for producers and consumers. Using the blockchain should cut way down on verification costs, while BLOCKStrain’s access to Canada’s fully-legal market will give it expertise it can apply elsewhere, once other countries start to fully legalize.

The legal market in the U.S. is $9.7 billion, but if the federal government ever embraces full legalization, that could explode to $55 billion virtually overnight. With current trends, a decade from now, the North American market could be worth  $47 billion.

Cannabis is only the beginning. Verification for seed, food and plant material is another huge opportunity for BLOCKStrain’s proprietary tech. And while weed is a billion-dollar opening, the global grocery industry, for example, is $3.2 trillion which could potentially all be placed on the blockchain through BLOCKStrain’s immutable, secure and transparent system.

5) About Time

Once pot becomes fully legal, it’s going to need what all large industries need: quality control, transparency and security for producers and consumers. BLOCKStrain (DNAX) can do that, all on a platform that is fully capable of expanding out from Canada to embrace the whole world and the growing global pot market.

The WeedMD deal is just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens of LPs looking for verification for their products, and at the moment only BLOCKStrain’s immutable, secure software can give them the transparency they are looking for.

BLOCKStrain (TSX.V:DNAX) has few competitors, a fast-growing market and potential to grow in the near future to other industries and markets. This could be a prime opportunity for investors looking at “Cannabusiness.”

Other companies to watch as cannabis and blockchain technology boom:
Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE: IIRP) is set to boom in the coming years. The company has formulated a strategy to target properties for acquisition and management to be leased to state-licensed marijuana growers , a market which is certain to flourish. Innovative Industrial’s leasing plan is simple: the tenant is responsible for everything from taxes to maintenance.

AbbVie Inc (NYSE: ABBV) is no stranger to the biopharmaceutical industry. AbbVie was one of the first companies to enter the pharmaceutical marijuana space with Marinol , which is almost chemically identical to THC, the main component in marijuana.

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ZYNE) is a company that is diving deep into cannabinoid therapies. Currently, the company has only two drugs in development; ZYN001 and ZYN002. ZYN001, a THC pro-drug patch, aims to treat a number of conditions through a revolutionary transdermal delivery system while ZYN002, another transdermal delivery system, this time through a gel, is the first and only synthetic non-psychoactive CBD drug of its kind.

Insys Therapeutics (NASDAQ: INSY) main product is a sublingual pain medication known as Subsys. However, using the same proprietary sublingual spray technology and their advanced knowledge of synthetic cannabinoids , the company is at the forefront of a new pharmaceutical movement.

Compass Diversified Holdings (NYSE: CODI) is a holdings company which rings true to its name. Its portfolio is diversified and expansive. Compass Diversified is included in this list due to its Manitoba Harvest holding. Manitoba Harvest is a leading hemp foods producer and distributor, priding itself on high quality and easily accessible products.

By. Ian Jenkins

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