You may be wondering what the connection is between cannabis and blockchain technology. In fact, there is no direct link between these two subjects, except for the fact that both are currently disruptive and rapidly growing markets in many parts of the world.

In the case of cannabis, it is a plant with such resilience that, from being a natural medicine in ancient times, it became a prohibited article practically worldwide, only to regain its place as a magical ingredient with thousands of attributes, many of which are still not fully studied.

With the ability to treat various serious diseases, even those refractories to existing medications, the plant can be used for the manufacture of medicines by the industry, as well as being suitable for those who decide to plant it at home and make their own natural remedy, demonstrating that it is an accessible treatment for anyone.

According to research from Kaya Mind, Brazil has over 80 companies with open CNPJs operating in the cannabis market, with some already employing more than 5,000 workers. Furthermore, there are 1,900 medicinal cannabis products available to Brazilians, demonstrating the potential of the national industry for this product. The projected market value for this industry in 2023 is R$ 655.1 million.

But we must not forget about the recreational market, also known as “adult use”, which is derived from the psychoactive capabilities of the plant. Although it is somewhat neglected in discussions about regulation and the potential benefits of the plant, almost as if it were the “ugly” part of the story, this is a huge commercial market that includes the entire industry of accessories for its use, which cannot be disregarded, as it is in full swing, even though it is still an unregulated market in Brazil.

Tobacco shops, headshops, and growshops that sell accessories for cultivation; financial investments, such as funds, cryptocurrencies, and even NFTs, are also focusing on the market; events are investing in disseminating information about cannabis, and many other business models are developing around this market. Companies are developing technology, generating jobs, increasing GDP, in a legalized manner, around a market that, if fully regulated, could exponentially multiply these numbers.

But where does blockchain come in? After years of prohibitionist government policy and promotion of trafficking, which has always been a major driver of corruption, it is important that the post-regulation cannabis market be as integral and sustainable as possible. And for that to happen, transparency is the most important requirement, whether within the industry, with the consumer, before the regulatory agency, or the entire chain involved, from the seed to the final product.

It is in this sense that we have seen blockchain providing incredible tools for the cannabis industry, assisting in logistics, production tracking, and regulatory agency monitoring. The use of distributed, public, and immutable networks brings trust and security to industry processes, ensuring the transparency that brings confidence to the market.

Tracking production will also allow consumers to receive reliable information about the product purchased, verified by the regulatory authority during cultivation, also through blockchain.

In addition to both being disruptive topics currently, blockchain technology can collaborate with the cannabis industry to bring transparency, productivity gains, and scale to this market.

It is therefore important, and safe, that the regulation agenda moves forward more advanced and aligns Brazil with other Latin American countries. There is technology to ensure this process. It seems to lack only goodwill.

© 2023 Emília M Campos



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